IN HIS LATEST ATTEMPT AT DEMONSTRATING HE DID TOO DESERVE THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE, CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O HAS WADED INTO SOME VERY TRICKY WATERS, PROVING HE'S NOT AFRAID TO TAKE A TOUGH STAND!
BEST OSCAR WINNING SONG, HE INSISTS, IS "AS TIME GOES BY."
IT'S EXACTLY THAT SORT OF CRACKED UP S**T THAT CAUSES SO MANY TO WONDER WHY THE BI-RACIAL BARRY IS BILLED AS "BLACK."
OF ALL THE SONGS TO CHOOSE FROM, HE GOES WITH THE ONE PERFORMED BY A TOKEN ("SAM") WHO NOT ONLY PLAYS IT BUT DOES SO WHEN ORDERED TO. THERE'S NO "BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP" BETWEEN HIM AND RICK -- JUST ECHOS OF THE PLANTATION SYSTEM.
AND AS ONE OBSERVER NOTED, "Do you really have to weigh in on everything? And if so, why haven't you said more to Gaddafi? I feel like that should be higher on your list."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Security forces prohibited cameras from entering Baghdad's Tahrir Square, where there were thousands of people protesting, according to news reports and local journalists. Police confiscated tapes that reporters managed to shoot in the square, according to Al-Jazeera.
Niyaz Abdulla, a correspondent for Radio Nawa and a volunteer for Metro Center, a local press freedom group, was assaulted today while covering demonstrations in Erbil. "I was on the air when a plainclothes security officer came and started threatening me," she told CPJ. The officer threatened to call over men to attack her, alluding to a potential sexual assault. "I stayed calm but it was very disturbing," Abdulla said. She added that two of her colleagues had their cameras confiscated while they were covering the demonstration.
In Karbala, anti-riot forces attacked Afaq and Al-Salam satellite channels crews, according to news reports. "They were beaten and cursed at while they were covering the march in Karbala," Jihad Jaafar, a correspondent for Afaq channel told Noun news website. He added that the tapes of the crews were confiscated.
During a news conference held on Sunday, four journalists -- Hussam Saraie of Al-Sabah Al-Jadid newspaper, Ali Abdul Sada of the Al-Mada daily, Ali al-Mussawi of Sabah newspaper and Hadi al-Mehdi of Demozee radio -- reported being handcuffed, blindfolded, beaten and threatened by security forces. They also claimed they were held in custody for nine hours and forced to sign a document, the contents of which were not revealed to them.
Aswat al Iraq news agency reported that the journalists will file a court case against the executive authority in response to the alleged violations of their civil rights.
This episode is the latest in a series of repressive measures adopted by security forces in order to stifle media reports about the current political and social unrest.
In a report released on 3 November, Reporters Without Borders said there was more press freedom in Iraqi Kurdistan than in surrounding regions and that the situation had improved considerably in the past 10 years. However we would now like to share with you our deep concern about the deterioration in the situation of journalists in your autonomous region since 17 February.
During the past 10 days, our organization has registered many physical attacks by the security forces on journalists covering the current demonstrations. Many journalists have also told us that they have received explicit death threats. Please find enclosed a list of these incidents, which is not exhaustive.
As president of the autonomous regional government of Iraqi Kurdistan, Reporters Without Borders urges you to do everything in your power to end these media freedom violations and to ensure that the safety of all journalists is guaranteed. We would also like these incidents to be investigated, especially the arson attack on the privately-owned TV station NRT on 20 February.
We thank you in advance for the attention you give to our request.
Reporters Without Borders secretary-general
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