CIP Protests Further Harassment of Iraqi daily Al-Sabah Al-Jadid
April 4, 2007
The Center for Islamic Pluralism strenuously protests against ongoing terrorist attacks and other harassment against the Baghdad daily Al-Sabah Al-Jadid, as described in the following bulletin:
Iraqi security forces prevent printing of independent newspaper
Arbil, 4-4-2007 - Iraqi commandos patrolling the Waziriya district in Baghdad on Tuesday arrested an employee of the Iraqi independent newspaper Al-Sabah Al-Jadeed (The New Morning) and confiscated the cd-rom needed to print the newspaper, that the employee was carrying to the printing house. Al-Sabah Al-Jadeed was not printed, which caused a substantial financial loss for the newspaper.
The employee pleaded in vain with the commandos to let him go to the printing house and was transferred to the police station of the Bettaween district, far away from Waziriya. He was beaten up and all attempts to have him released have failed, Dafer Zayer, the manager of the printing house, said when contacted by telephone in Baghdad.
In the past two months the printing house has suffered a mortar attack that destroyed the front of the building. US troops have accidentally set the paper store of the printing house on fire, after flares to illuminate the sky during a battle in the area came down on its roof. Twenty-five tons of paper were destroyed and the compensation has not been paid yet.
The newspaper's editor in chief, Ismael Zayer, was almost ambushed one year ago. The printing house manager has survived various attacks while driving on the roads of Baghdad. The newspaper has also faced trials for libel, brought against it by a lawyer of the former Baathist journalists union.
For security reasons part of the newspaper has already been transferred to Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan region, but it is still printed in Baghdad and distributed nation-wide. A project is underway to guarantee the daily publication of the newspaper on a new multimedia website, in case printing is impossible because of fighting, curfews and vehicle bans in the capital.
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