RealNews

Paper Closed by U.S. Is Back in Business

About four months ago, U.S. combat troops seized the offices of the al-Hawza newspaper, evicted the staff and padlocked the front gate, armed with an order from Iraq’s U.S. administrator saying the paper had incited violence against U.S.-led forces and their Iraqi supporters. This week, al-Hawza reopened for business in the same dingy, tangerine-colored office covered with posters of turbaned Shiite clerics. Though officially welcomed back by the new Iraqi prime minister, the paper’s officials defiantly vowed to return to the same brand of provocative criticism and religious agitation that got it shut down in March. “We know that the American occupation is not really over, and we intend to remain as critical as before,” said Abbas Rubaie, the chief editor, 38, shortly after returning to his office Saturday to a round of congratulatory kisses from his staff. “Closing the paper was a disaster” for U.S. officials, he added. “The Iraqi government should think hard before doing the same thing.” Full Story

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