Nur al-Cubicle

A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press. Daily timeline of events in Iraq as collected from stories and dispatches in the French and Italian media: Le Monde (Paris), Il Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome), L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut) and occasionally from El Mundo (Madrid).

Thursday, June 09, 2005

9 June 2005 Events in Iraq and in the region

Paris. Gisèle Khoury, widow of slain journalist Samir Kassir, sues "parties unknown" in Paris in the death of her husband.

Washington. Poor, homeless Donald Rumsfeld. He wouldn't "know where to go" if Guantanamo were to shut down as demanded by former President Jimmy Carter and Senator Joseph Biden. [Sniff. My heart bleeds--Nur]

Columbus. President Bush calls on US Congress to extend the Patriot Act.

22:28 Gaza. A 14 year-old Palestinan was seriously injured by Israeli forces in the southern Gaza Strip. Meanwhile two Palestinians were wounded by Israeli special forces in Tulkarem in the northern West Bank as the Israelis interrupted a wedding celebration wearing civlian clothes.

19:47 New York. The UN says it possesses information that some Syrian forces may still be inside Lebanon and will sent a verification team to the country.

19:21 Kabul. Italian hostage Clementina Cantoni has been released by her captors.

19:10 Damascus. The political committee of the ruling Baath party endorsed Thursday the emergence of independent parties and the relaxation of the state of emergency legislation.

18:58 Athens. Greece is to transport 500 BMP-1 Hungarian tanks meant for use in Iraq through Slovenia. The tanks would the be loaded on container ships in the port of Salonika and shipped to Kuwait.

18:57 Baghdad. The U.S. military on Thursday rejected U.N. criticism of its detainee policies in Iraq, saying all prisoners had access to due legal process and their rights under the Geneva Conventions were being respected. United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, in a report to the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday, said that in Iraq, "one of the major human rights challenges remains the detention of thousands of persons without due process". "Despite the release of some detainees, their number continues to grow. Prolonged detention without access to lawyers and courts is prohibited under international law including during states of emergency," his report said. A Security Council resolution adopted a year ago ending the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq let the U.S. military keep taking and holding prisoners even after the June 2004 handover of power, in apparent contradiction of the Geneva conventions.

18:24 Karachi. Pakistan denies that there is any al-Qaeda training camp inside the country. The FBI arrested a father and son claiming that they had visited such a camp in 2004.

18:32 Brussels. Russian Defense Minister Sergueï Ivanov and NATO Defense ministers register their disagreement concerning Uzbekistan and the events in Andijian of May 13th. As NATO ministers denounced Karimov's use of force again the civlian populace, Ivanov said his country had information that the civil unrest had been organized from Afghanistan.

17:46 Damascus. The Ba'ath Party agreed to revise the state of emergency in force since 1963.

17:37 Baghdad. The Badr Organization, the armed wing of SCIRI, published a communiqué calling for the participation of all Iraqi groups in the drafting of a permanent Constitution.

17:06 Paris. Michael Ratner of the American Center for Constitutional Law said that the Guantanamo prison camp would be shut down in a matter of time.

15:54 Algeria. A landmine destroyed a vehicle carrying 13 city police in Ain Rich, more than 400 km south of Algiers.

14:46 Ramadi. The Iraqi Defense Minister denies the kidnapping of 22 Shi'a soliders on a highway between al-Qaim and Rawa as they left a US base.

14:26 Kiev. The expected arrival in Kiev of Javier Solana for an official visit has been postponed due to Mr. Solana's presence in Baghdad. Solana had been expected to celebrate the adoption of a market economy in Ukraine and to announce the easing of restrictions on Ukrainian nationals within the EU.

14:02 Baghdad. Fifty alleged rebels were arrested during raids and searches in the capital. Thirty-three were arrested in the Saydiya district of south Baghdad. Six others were arrested in the al-Naïriya district of southeast Baghdad and ten others were arrested in north Baghdad.

13:58 The EU will establish permanent representative offices in Baghdad within a few months.

13:47 Nablus. The Israeli Army dispersed a demonstration against the construction of a portion of the "Security Wall" meant to protect a Jewish settlement, injuring seven persons and arresting two Palestinian militants and an American woman.

13:33 Baghdad. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani announced that 25 seats would be given to the Sunni community on the committee drafting the Constitution.

13:27 Brussels. A high-ranking EU delegation travelled to Baghdad in the hopes of establishing a new political and economic relationship with the country. The delegation included British Foreign Minister Jack Straw, EU Foreign Minister Javier Solana, the European Commissioner for Foreign Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn. [There is something very odd about this delegation--Straw and Solana were not supposed to be there but turned up unannounced at the last moment--Nur.]

13:15. Gaza. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met leaders of militant groups and political factions in the occupied Gaza Strip on Thursday to salvage a truce with Israel that has been hit by a flare-up of violence. Israeli warplanes broke the sound barrier over Gaza ahead of the talks, which came a day after an Israeli aircraft fired three missiles at a Palestinian rocket crew in Gaza in response to mortar fire at a Jewish settlement. Palestinians welcome any withdrawal from occupied land but many see Sharon's plan as a bid to tighten Israel's hold on large swathes of the West Bank and deny them a viable state.

13:13 Teheran. The ultraconservative Iranian judiciary announced that Akbar Ganji, a dissident figure, used his permission to exit prison for medical reasons to escape. However, friends of the journalist claim that Ganji is in the hands of the authorities.


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