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Dear CASI members, I have to agree with Nermin that we do need to work towards an alternative media, especially in Iraq. Nermin Al-Mufti should know more than any of us about the Iraqi media, she writes regularly in "AL JUMHURIYYA" (Iraqi government's official newspaper) and frequently appears on Iraqi TV. She is also a prominent member of Saddam's BA'ATH party and an active member of the General Federation of Iraqi Women. When I used to be in Iraq, I remember that when the "great leader" decides to make a public speech, the Iraqi media made sure that we were all listening. The "great leader" loves to speak to us, the average length of his speeches is 3-4 hours. It would be shown on all TV channels, Radio stations, and on the next day, all the news papers would have the full text of the "historic speech" on their front pages. In Iraq, the government does not need to monitor the media, it simply runs it. It might sound silly, but anyone caught distributing leaflets in Iraq is charged by conspiring to overthrow the regime. You need a license from the security forces (the AMN) to be able to own a fax machine. The same applies to printers and photo-copiers. In Iraq, being polite is very important. Especially when it comes to talking about the "great leader" and members of his "Revolutionary Command Congress (RCC)" (Nermin, was that the right translation? You do translation for URUKLINK.NET, don't you?) During the 80s, Saddam signed a law that sends any person who insults a member of the RCC to prison for 25 years. The law added :Insulting the "great leader" would be punishable by DEATH. Other forms of expressing opinion are demonstrations. In Iraq we had a lot of them. All the ones I have been to were pro government (you will know why in a minute). I remember when I was in school, we were forced to attend demonstrations organised by the government. We used to be given "receipts" to be handed to our teachers at the site of the demonstration to prove that we attended the demonstration and we stayed to the end. When the demonstration is not organised by the government, people are not very encouraged to attend. I have seen an official Iraqi document giving guidelines about how to deal with "opposition demonstrations" it says: "demonstrators should be shot at with the aim of killing 95 percent of them and saving the rest for interrogation" If such thing happened in any country in the world, the media would be reporting it. But in Iraq, they would be busy showing the "historic speech of the great leader" Yes, we do need to work towards an alternative media, and we should start with Iraq. IRAQI Sent by Mail at easy.com, an easyGroup company. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk