Allawi lifts ban on al-Sadr's paper

Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has lifted a ban imposed by the former US-led occupation on a controversial newspaper belonging to Muqtada al-Sadr.

    Paul bremer (R) banned al-Sadr's paper and Iyad Allawi (L) reversed it

    "The Hawza newspaper was allowed to be published again pursuant to an order by the US appointed Prime Minister, who has expressed his absolute belief in free press," according to an official statement.

    The closure of the weekly paper by former US administrator Paul Bremer at the end of March and the arrest of one of al-Sadr's key aides were among the catalysts for an uprising by the Shia leader and his Mahdi Army against the occupation forces in central and southern Iraq that lasted nearly two months.

    There was no immediate comment on Allawi's decision from al-Sadr's office in Sadr City, Baghdad, or the southern city of Najaf.

    He is "confident his decision would open the way for all currents and movements in Iraq to take part in the country's march towards liberty, democracy, peace and prosperity"

    Iyad Allawi,
    US selected Iraqi Prime Minister

    The prime minister said he was "confident his decision would open the way for all currents and movements in Iraq to take part in the country's march towards liberty, democracy, peace and prosperity".

    Following a truce in early June, al-Sadr agreed to scale back his presence in Najaf and, since then, the leader has given mixed signals on whether he would support the new government.

    Some of his aides have said his followers will not attend an upcoming national conference to pick an interim council to consult Iraq's new caretaker government.

    Al-Sadr has been a vociferous critic of those cooperating with US-led occupation forces, describing them as "traitors" and including secular Shia Muslims, such as Allawi.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.