Saturday, April 05, 2008

Sadrists allege collective punishment by the American forces against the residents of Sadr City

At a meeting Saturday of the Political Council on National Security (a parliamentary comittee), Prime Minister Maliki reported on what happened in Basra, stressing (according to his allies who were there) what he called the scope of foreign intervention, the sophistication of the weaponry the "outlaws" had available to them, and the "sources" of that weaponry. So although the second-hand reports don't mention Iran by name, it appears Iran was probably his main theme, together with the spectre of foreign-supported "outlaws" acting as a parallel government.

The Sadrist trend was represented at the meeting, although it has suspended its attendance at regular parliamentary sessions. Falah Shanshal said the Sadrists' theme was that the whole Basra campaign really targeted the Sadrists as a political group (and was not directed at criminal gangs generally, as the government asserted). Moreover, Shanshal said, what is happening now is, "the setting up of collective punishment against their members and those who supported them, as followup to those events."

In another article, AlHayat explains what form they say this collective punishment is taking:
The official spokesman for the Sadrist bloc (in parliament), Saleh alAkili told AlHayat, "The announcement issued by Maliki about stopping the [arbitrary] searches and arrests was an attempt to throw sand in our eyes", explaining: "The arrests have not stopped, in spite of Maliki's announcement to that effect. And the American forces continue to spread terror among the people of Sadr City, stationing themselves in force at the entrances of local streets, carrying out nighttime raids, arresting hundreds of Sadr City youths, without warrants.
The meeting of the Political Council for National Security ended, AlHayat says, with a recommendation to "continue operations under emergency laws", which is of course irrelevant in Sadr City, since the American forces are not subject to Iraqi law anyway.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

N. K. al-Maliki: "Foreign-supported outlaws are acting as a parallel government!"

D. Parker (not): "Parallel to what?"

11:07 PM  
Blogger badger said...

good point. I guess it's just an expression

9:59 AM  

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