Iraqi Communists Accuse Government of Politically Motivated Backlash

Iraqi Communist Party:  Authorities’ request to vacate CP headquarters and newspaper offices is politically motivated

In a sudden move, units of the federal police arrived on Sunday morning, 6th March 2011, at the main headquarters of the Iraqi Communist Party in Andulus Square in central Baghdad, as well as the headquarters of its daily newspaper “Tareeq Al-Shaab” (The People’s Path) in Abu Nuwas Street, and requested that both places are vacated within 24 hours, on the basis of official orders.  The pretext for this move is that the two premises are state property and should therefore be handed back. A period of one week, however, has now been provisionally agreed to settle the issue with the relevant authorities.

A statement issued by “Tareeq Al-Shaab” has pointed out that these measures targeting the Iraqi CP have come in the wake of the recent mass protest actions throughout Iraq, and the Communist Party’s strong support for the people’s legitimate demands. As a result, the politicization of the issue regarding the above-mentioned premises raises deep concern about the respect of democratic rights and freedoms.

The statement has also said that the authorities had previously given approval for a request by the Communist Party to rent both premises which have been occupied by the party for several years. The Prime Minister’s office itself had issued several directives, most recently on 12 January 2011, requesting the executive authorities to postpone the eviction process.

Furthermore, “Tareeq Al-Shaab” has pointed out that several properties belonging to the Iraqi Communist Party that were confiscated by Saddam’s dictatorial regime have not yet been returned to the party despite continued efforts.

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