Report From the Arab Press

Collated by A.

June 16, 2004

Journalist's argument with new Minister of Justice

The well-known Iraqi Journalist, Dr. Maleeh Salih Shukur, based in New York, wrote in al-Quds al-Arabi about the new Iraqi Minister of Justice, Malik Dohan al-Hasan's statements regarding his government: "One feels sick when he watches a minister in the occupation Interim Iraqi government speaking about history and considering its members who spent their life abroad cooperating with the occupying powers as men of struggle and that it can take decisions and promulgate laws. He seemed to have forgotten that it's a caretaker government for only seven months, as stipulated by UN resolution 1546, that it has no power to take any decisions with lasting effect. How can the Minister of Justice justify his opposition to the notion that his government is a puppet one while its head and members were installed by the US occupation authority governor, Paul Bremer? Can he take any decision to repel Bremer's decisions such as Law 14, which imposes heavy restrictions on the press? And can he prevent foreign Occupation troops from arresting Iraqis who are supposed to enjoy their country's supposed and so-called independence and freedom from occupation?"

Dr.Shukur said the new minister imposed a number of restrictions on freedom of the press when he was Minister of Guidance in 1967, the worst of which was closing all private papers, ironically including the al-Manar daily owned by Abdul-Azeez Barakat, Chairman of the Union of Journalists himself, thus firing hundreds of journalists from their jobs.

Iraqi Novelist: No solution but withdrawal of occupation

The well-known Iraq novelist Abdul-Rahman Majeed al-Rubaie, in an article in al-Quds al-Arabi, commented on recent UN resolution 1546, saying it's merely an international cover to legitimize and soften the occupation by replacing names while keeping occupation in place. "The term 'multi-national forces' replaced 'occupation forces' led by American command (with no UN influence) that has authority to take any military action and detain Iraqis without giving the US-installed Iraqi government any authority to interfere, oppose or prevent such encroachments upon Iraq's sovereignty. But in order to camouflage this devious arrangement,the resolution said it's done by request of the Iraqi government, because it cannot insure security. Now, when will this government, formed of Bremer's council figures, be able to ensure security for Iraq and its people? The answer is that the new government will be no different from Bremer's council," he stated. He continued "Iraq is burning, and has turned to a large holocaust with horrible death operations sparing no one, be it members of occupation forces,which will not change into a really multi-national forces, or their collaborators, or simple Iraqis. The occupation will remain ugly, a burden and a nightmare.... The only solution lies in the withdrawal of the occupation and all the strange faces in its secret service centers who were cheated that they had become rulers. Let them issue, even heap resolutions, but on Iraqi land, only Iraqi resolutions, issued by honest resistance fighters, Iraq's conscience will be implemented."

Resistance claims seven Shiites killed were members of Chalabi's militia

The London-based Quds press agency quoted a source close to the Iraqi resistance movement as saying that it had killed seven members of Chalabi's militia who shelled with mortars the headquarters of the Falluja regiment, killing 12 Iraqis and injuring many more a few days ago. The source said the fighters encircled the cemetery where mortar shells came from and managed to capture seven militia members who admitted to committing that crime and to be members of Chalabi's militia. He added they were not killed because they are Shiites as Chalabi had claimed in an effort to incite sectarian strife in Iraq. Two religious sheikhs accused by the Chalabi militia, denied any connection with what happened.

Escalation of resistance attacks

The Iraq resistance has escalated its attacks on American occupation forces and its collaborators:

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