Iraqi government must stop attacking Media offices

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STOCKHOLM – Skyline International calls upon the Iraqi authorities to stop their campaign against the media and to allow channels ,whose offices have been closed, to operate in Iraqi territories without restriction.

In the recent days, Skyline International has witnessed an escalation of a government campaign against some media outlets, where “Al Arabiya” and “Al-Hadath” were banned from coverage, and other press offices were attacked, along with large demonstrations in the country.

“Al-Arabiya” reported that the Iraqi government decided to suspend its work in addition to its “Al-Hadath” channel under the pretext of lack of licenses.

According to information received by Skyline, the Iraqi police asked correspondents of “Al-Hadath” and other Arab channels to stop any press activity in Iraq.

The International Organization also monitored that an armed security force stormed the Kurdish channel “NRT”, in Abu Nawas Street in the centre of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, in addition to the closure of the American channel “Al-Hurra” and the radio channel “Sawa”.

The masked gunmen stormed the office of “Al-Arabiya” and threatened its staff on the 6th of October in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

PREVIOUS PROMISES OF THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT

The promises of the Iraqi prime minister and other officials to follow up on previous attacks against the press have not resonated in the country, where they have been restricted against an unknown person, clearly indicating that the Iraqi authorities are not serious about prosecuting offenders.

“The storming of media offices and the targeting of journalists escalated dramatically during October, in conjunction with popular protests across Iraq,” states Shirin Awad, director of Skyline International.

Awad stresses that the Iraqi government is committed under the human rights laws signed to protect the right to freedom of expression, press freedom and media work, calling on the authorities to stop their campaign against the media.

Awad notes that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) emphasized the right of individuals to freely seek, receive and impart information and ideas through various media, including the Internet and media channels.

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