Iraq delays announcing new security measures

Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has said Iraq was looking to guarantee civil liberties even as Justice Minister Malik Duhan al-Hasan delayed the announcement of new security measures.

    Allawi wants to ensure 'human and citizen rights guarantees'

    Allawi told reporters on Monday he wanted to ensure "human and citizen rights guarantees". His caretaker government, meanwhile, scrapped al-Hasan's press conference to announce its policy to battle the insurgency, including an amnesty and emergency law. 

    Sources in the interim prime minister's office declined to specify a new date for announcing the new  security measures.

    Last week, Allawi said an amnesty would be declared for anyone who acted against the US-led occupation but did not commit a crime, such as those who harboured weapons without using them or kept quiet about fighters' actions. 

    The new government has indicated it will soon pass some form of emergency law to deal with the ongoing insurgency in Iraq. 

    Al-Sadr's resistance

    President Shaikh Ghazi al-Yawar said in an interview published
    last week that the "national salvation" law would be "less
    repressive than emergency laws but with severe penalties for people carrying out terrorist acts."

    "The truce with the occupation forces and those supporting them, is non existent"

    Ahmad al-Shaibany,
    Al-Sadr spokesman in Najaf

    Meanwhile, Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr vowed to continue resistance to what he described as "the injustice and the occupation".

    Ahmad al-Shaibany, al-Sadr's spokesman in Najaf, said in a statement that "the truce with the occupation forces and those supporting them, is non existent."

    Al-Sadr also cast doubts on the legitimacy of Allawi's interim government and called for fair elections.

    Lebanese released 

    Also on Monday, Iraqi authorities released a Lebanese national who spent several months at the Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad, government sources in Beirut said. 

    Foreign Minister Jean Ubaid was informed that Nabil Munir Jamal was freed from Abu Ghraib and that another national, Muna Abd Allah, would also soon be released, they said. 

    There were no details on their conditions, the exact dates of
    their detention or whether there were charges against them. 

    2200 detainees have been freed
    from Abu Ghraib since May

    Also, US forces freed 317 Iraqi detainees from Abu Ghraib prison, 76 of them from Baghdad, Aljazeera correspondent in Baghdad said.

    The correspondent also quoted a US military spokesman as saying the detainees were the ninth batch to be freed after the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal broke out in May, raising the number of those released since then to 2200


    Unrest continues

    Meanwhile unrest continued across Iraq. Three Iraqi's in a booby-trapped car were killed when Iraqi national guards opened fire when it tried to approach the guards' headquarters, our

    correspondent in Baquba reported.

    Following the incident, the police seized five explosive devices from the car. 

    Also, our correspondent quoted Iraqi police sources as saying eight people were wounded when a rocket missed its target and hit houses next to a government building in Basra.

    In another incident, a strategic oil pipeline south of Karbala was set ablaze. Three Iraqis were arrested by police in this connection.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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