The last few
weeks have seen an unprecedented public dispute between the president
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the supreme leader Ali Khamenei. The dispute
officially erupted over Ahmadinejad’s dismissal of Heydar Moslehi, the
minister of intelligence who was fired by Ahmadinejad (officially he
resigned himself) on April 17, but was then reinstated later the same
day by a direct decree from Khamenei.
Firas Ali, an Iraqi political
activist, was detained at the office of the Federation of Workers’
Councils and Unions in Iraq, Baghdad, at about 2pm on 13 April. A
protester, Haidar Shihab Ahmad Abdel Latif, is believed to have been
detained on 1 April on Tahrir Square, Baghdad. Alaa Nabil, another youth
leader of the February 25 Group, was also arrested on April 8, and
remains in custody. It is feared that they and other detained activists
are at high risk of torture.
These days, Iraqi authorities feel free to carry out
arbitrary arrests, physical assault and torture of Iraqi citizens who
participate in peaceful demonstrations. In fact, they have begun to
recruit and utilize of the expertise of the masterminds who were part of
the horrific Baathist regime of Saddam.
The wave of revolution that started in
Tunisia is now also reaching Iraq, where the Kurdish areas had already
flared up last week. But the protests are not limited to these areas. On
Friday an anti-government rally named the Day of Rage, was organised in
Baghdad and other cities with thousands taking part.