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Daily Column
Iraq TV: Prisoners Re-Arrested?
Sunday Night/Monday Morning News
04/13/2009 12:35 PM ET
By Daniel W. Smith and Yousif al-Timimi

All channels reported Easter ceremonies to a certain extent, but scandal over Iraqi prisoners, the Sahwa and politics were the main things that would not stay buried.

Al-Sharqiya led the enraged reaction to security spokesman Qassim Atta’s latest statements about re-arresting the thousands of prisoners being released by American forces. There has been much fear that former detainees have been responsible for the recent uptick in violence, and that it could add to the numbers of both Al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Mahdi Army. Still, arresting most or all of those who are released sounds just a bit draconian, to most Iraqis. The Human Rights Committee in parliament responded to Atta's statement, and stated that released detainees should not be arrested on suspicion only. Civilian security spokesman Dr. Tahseen al-Sheikhli spoke of some of the prisoners already released having been involved in terrorism.

A Sahwa leader in Diyala was seen complaining that his people had not been paid in four months, and also that the police chief in Diyala refuses to pay the Sahwa members who became policemen. A Sahwa leader in Taji said, “We would help security forces to arrest those who are wanted if the names were given to us.” Two Sahwa members who were assassinated in Salah al-Din got the most press for some reason, but there were others.

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh was interviewd in government-backed al-Iraqiya, the main topic being the recent visit of al-Maliki to Russia. Though everyone else is talking about oil contracts, he stressed weaponry and military training that might be provided by Russia.

Here is a collection of major news relating to provincial councils which were widely covered.

Salah Abdul-Razaq was elected as Baghdad's governor. The election of his two deputies was delayed due a protest of other parties that the State of Law is taking all the high posts.

There were protests in Wassit, demanding the dismissal of the governor, Lateef al-Turfa, who was re-elected.

Al-Hadba leader Atheel al-Najafi was elected as Ninewa’s governor. The Brotherhood List (Kurdish) withdrew from the session, protesting the lack of positions given to them.

Mutashar Alawi was elected as governor for Salah al-Din. The councils of Najaf and Qaddisiya failed to elect candidates for governor and other important posts.

A spokesman from the Sadrist-backed Free List was shown saying "Maysan province should belong to us, in accordance with our agreement with the State of Law.”

President Jalal Talabani was shown urging al-Maliki to “share power fairly”.
Comments on the Iraqi TV roundup are welcome at

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