This blog post was published on February 28 2011. §
The myth of Iraq’s “new born democracy” in Tahrir Square
Iraqi politicians and official media love to use the term “new born democracy”, which is a a way to justify violations occurred here or there against human rights, media and journalists under this pretext.
On 25 February Iraq’s “day of Anger” demonstrations, Maliki’s government tried to regulate the media through allowing one TV channel “Al-Iraqiya” to broadcast the event though the government’s eyes and not though the people’s eyes.
Watch this official Iraqi TV broadcast and listen to the celebration-like background music and the TV anchor saying: “few hundreds demonstrators in Tahrir Squ. demand the improvement of the basic services, handed their demands to the Lieutenant general Abdul Al-Karim Al-Izi — the commander of Risafa — Baghdad”
Despite all the above and all other measures, a TV channel situated by chance on the Tigris River, about 150 meters from the “Republic Bridge”, mounted its camera to broadcast what exactly happened in Tahrir Squ. The little known Al-Diyar TV camera was the only witness on the confrontation between the demonstrators and security forces on the bridge.
At this point, Al-Diyar TV allowed the people of Iraq and the world to watch a unique scene, something different from what the official TV channel broadcast. For the first time a confrontation between the security forces and the unarmed civilians who amazingly barehanded managed to force the anti-riot police and their commanders to retreat, as you see in the the image below, which shows Lieutenant general Al-Izi and his forces running for their lives:
These scenes were very costly for the TV Channel. Police raided the Al-Diyar building and destroyed everything that was in the possession of this TV Channel (cameras, studios, devices … etc).
After this incident and similar incidents here or there, the anti-riot police started to chase, arrest and beat the media and journalists, even in restaurants and cafes around Tahrir Squ. but this time using the “new born democracy” wasn’t all that helpful.