10-year anniversary of Baghdad fall to US forces

BAGHDAD (AP) — Ten years ago, a statue fell in Baghdad’s Firdous Square. Joyful Iraqis helped by an American tank retriever pulled down their longtime dictator, cast as 16 feet of bronze. The scene broadcast live worldwide became an icon of the war, a symbol of final victory over Saddam Hussein.

Iraq: ANHRI Denounces the Attack on the Press; Offices and Journalists, and Denounces the Liquidation of the Opposition

Cairo April 4, 2013

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), strongly denounce the repeated attacks on the press on the background attacking the headquarters of 4 independent newspapers by the a group of armed men. The attack led to several injuries without knowing the reasons behind the attack. ANHRI expresses its severe resentment regarding the attack that resulted in the injuring of the editor-in-chief of “Sout El-Balad” newspaper. ANHRI denounces the murdering of the lawyer “Salah El-Abeedi” a candidate to the municipality elections.

A group of armed men, about 30 persons wearing a civil costume, attacked on April 1, 2013, targeted offices of independent newspapers; Dostor, Parliament, Future and Al-Nas in Baghdad. They stormed their offices after taking off the doors and wounded six of the staff and set the car of “Ali Dragy”, the editor-in-chief of the Future newspaper on fire. Moreover, they have stormed his office, destroyed its contents and its computers.

The elements of the Iraqi police assaulted the journalist “Ihab Ayoub El-Beldawy” the editor-in-chief of “Sout El-Balad” in the Governorate of Salahdin, by swearing at him and physically hurt him without justification. He was taken to the police center located in the city and was detained without legal justification.

In another context, unknown persons aimed live ammunition on the lawyer “Salah El-Abidie” and they killed him on Sunday March 24, 2013. He is the candidate of the National Unionist Iraqi Coalition candidate in the governorate’ councils in “Sidiyah district” in Baghdad while he was working in his office.

It is worthy to be mentioned that he is among 12 candidates to run for the local elections that were to be held on March 20, 2013 and they were liquidated in the recent days.

ANHRI said that “the repeated attacks on the press is a serious violation to the right to access, obtain and disseminate the information freely. It comes in the frame of harassing the oppositions and seek toward silencing their voices, which is a clear violation to the basic human rights in particular, the right to expression and obtain information safely and freely.

ANHRI added that “the miserable attempts of the unknown armed men to liquidate the opposition is a swearing at the face of the regime that supposedly seek toward democracy and promote the political freedoms in the country”.

ANHRI draw the attention to the non-legality of the arbitrary arrest that was conducted against the Iraqi journalist “El-Beldawy”, particularly as, the lack of any specific charges pressed on him or the lack of any legal justification behind his arrest”.

ANHRI demands an immediate investigation in the attacks on the four offices and the immediate release of the detained journalist. ANHRI demands drafting strong legislation to protect the opposition and candidates from the assassination attempts and liquidation that threaten their lives.

Also available in : العربية

Gunmen raid 4 newspaper offices in Baghdad

A man cleans up the offices of the Iraqi newspaper, the Constitution, in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, April 2, 2013. Iraqi officials say on Monday, April 1, 2013 gunmen, some wearing military uniforms, broke into the offices of four independent newspapers in Baghdad and stabbed and beat five employees there also damaged computers and office furniture. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)BAGHDAD (AP) — Gunmen suspected of being Shiite militiamen burst into the offices of four independent newspapers in Baghdad, smashing their equipment, stabbing and beating employees, and even hurling one reporter from a roof in the most brazen attack against journalists in Iraq this year, said staff and officials on Tuesday.