Iraq: Arrest of political writer shows authorities are using law to crack down on dissenters
Stockholm - The international human rights foundation Skyline expresses concern about the arrest of the writer and political analyst "Mohammed Nana'a" by Iraqi security authorities on the basis of a lawsuit filed against him by the Iraqi prime minister for remarks he made in the media.
In a statement released today, Monday, Skyline states that Iraqi security authorities arrested political analyst "Mohammad Nana'a" in Baghdad on Saturday, March 25, against the backdrop of a lawsuit filed against him. It points out that the lawsuit was filed since October last year by Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani before he took office on the pretext of televised statements addressed to al-Sudani.
Skyline calls on the Iraqi Prime Minister to withdraw the lawsuit, to work for the immediate release of political analyst "Nana’a," and to take steps to ensure that freedom of opinion and expression are not persecuted.
In this context, Skyline calls on Iraqi authorities to stop abusing the judiciary and the law to persecute and imprison writers, opinion makers, and journalists, stressing that this violates human rights conventions.
It also emphasises that the Iraqi judicial system must not be used as an instrument to suppress any peaceful criticism of public officials and influential parties, forces, government agencies, and armed forces.
Moreover, Skyline stresses the need to create an atmosphere of freedoms and to guarantee the right to freedom of opinion and expression as a fundamental human right enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
At the end of its statement Skyline calls on all Iraqi components to intervene to stop the assault on press freedom and public freedoms, which include first and foremost freedom of expression, and to hold those responsible for clear violations against journalists and opinion makers accountable.