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DATE  21 July 2003


PR No. 22






Members of the Special Investigative Unit of the Iraqi Police Service today closed the offices of Al Mustaqila newspaper, and took into custody the newspaper’s office manager.


Al Mustaqila newspaper published on 13 July a clearly inciteful article entitled “Death to all spies and those who cooperate with the US; killing them is religious duty”. 


The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) supports and encourages the development of a free and responsible Iraqi press.  Most new Iraqi newspapers, free to publish for the first time without government editorial control, are doing so responsibly, and in a manner which supports the development of freedom and democracy in Iraq. 


However, al Mustiqila newspaper has chosen to threaten the basic human rights of Iraqi citizens, especially the right to life and the right to live without fear or threat.  The CPA and the Iraqi Police Service therefore judged that al Mustaqila poses a significant security threat to Iraqi citizens, placing it in violation of international humanitarian law, as well as in breach of CPA Order no 14 (“Towards a free Iraqi press”).


The head of the Special Investigative Unit, Brigadier-General Ahmed Ibrahim, said immediately after the arrest: “The Iraqi Police Service will not tolerate behaviour on the part of any individual, group or movement that incites violence directed at any Iraqi citizen, government employee or the coalition forces.  This type of activity is a violation of the law and the Iraqi Police Service will simply not tolerate it.  We will take swift action to investigate and bring to justice those who are involved in this type of subversive action.”






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