At the end of Iraq's third Congress of Peace Partisans in Baghdad, April 3, some 250,000 delegates, and representatives of the country's trade and professions stages a mass parade through the city's streets.
GV. Procession parading with peace flags.
GT. Crowds and procession.
NEAR ELEVATED V. Of crowd carrying banners.
CU. Kassem on balcony waves to crowd.
STV. Women carry garlands.
CU. Back view of Kassem.
SV. Kassem waves, PAN to crowd.
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Background: At the end of Iraq's third Congress of Peace Partisans in Baghdad, April 3, some 250,000 delegates, and representatives of the country's trade and professions stages a mass parade through the city's streets.
As marchers - with banner calling for disarmament, non-alignment, Arab solidarity and a "free Palestine", condemning "criminal Zionism and Imperialism" and atomic tests - passed the Defence Ministry, Premier Kassem appeared on the balcony to acknowledge the cheers of the crowd. With him was Indonesian President Soekarno, who arrived in Baghdad April 2 for a three-day State visit.
It was announced from Baghdad Mar 27 that Premier Kassem had granted an amnesty to fourteen people - including two former Iraqi Premiers - who had been sentenced to death or imprisonment by the People's Court. Six of the man were then only four hours away from execution for complicity in last October's attempt to assassinate Premier Kassem.
In what he called a "realistic practical step", Premier Kassem recently called upon Palestinians everywhere to join in preparing a "Palestine Republic army". He said Iraq had earmarked GBP2 million toward the Palestine Republic fund. According to his announcement, courses for reserve officers and of basic training for soldiers will begin April 15.
According to reports from Damascus April 5, political asylum has been granted to an Iraqi Air Force officer who fled to Syria in his Hawker 'Hunter' jet aircraft "to escape Communist pressure." The officer, named as Flight Lieutenant Abbout Salem, was quoted as saying that Iraqi Communists wanted to convert all Air Force personnel. Aircraft flown only by Communists were armed.