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Madrid – Skyline condemns the Iraqi authorities growing attacks against journalists on grounds of their work. Lately, an arrest warrant for Middle East Eye journalist Suadad Al-Salhy has been issued in Iraq over the charge of “defamation”.

In a press release, the Stockholm-based international foundation "Skyline" rejects all forms of systematic restrictions practiced by the Iraqi authorities and political parties on journalists who publish reports that represent or criticize the reality in Iraq.

In this regard, Skyline refers to the warrant arrest that issued for journalist Al-Salhy following a complaint from an “unknown party for anonymous  reasons".  This action confirms that political parties in Iraq control the judiciary and issue arrest warrants upon their interests.

Moreover, Skyline stresses that Al-Salhy did nothing wrong other than exercising her job and preparing investigations for public opinion. Thus, Skyline condemns the measures taken by political and governmental authorities to prosecute journalists in order to restrict them from practicing their work.

Furthermore, Skyline indicates that arresting journalists and harassing them violates the Iraqi constitution, which affirms freedom of the press. This requires the Iraqi parliament to intervene in order to stop attacking press freedoms and to hold accountable those responsible for the apparent violations against journalists..

Skyline calls on the Iraqi government to intervene in the warrant arrest issue of the journalist Al-Salhy and to cancel as a commitment to its obligations with regard to freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

Iraq is ranked 162 out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders' (RSF) 2020 Press Freedom Index.

Skyline states that Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the same Article of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, affirms that everyone  has the right to hold opinions without interference, and the right to express them by various mediums.

Finally, Skyline calls on the Iraqi authorities to respect international covenants and treaties that criminalize arrest on grounds of expression and media work, to stop the arbitrary arrests and restrictions on journalists and activists, and to abide by the provisions of the Iraqi constitution and laws regulating journalism.