International media organizations urge Iraqi authorities to protect media workers


Several international organizations have called on the Iraq PM Adil Abdul-Mahdi to protect freedom of speech and ensure the safety of media workers covering the anti-government protests across the country.

In a statement the organizations indicated that since the first of October, thousands of protesters have taken to the streets to express their discontent with the Iraqi authorities.

They cited the Iraqi Human Rights Commission as saying that the resulting violence - including from the Iraqi security services - has already led to the deaths of more than 100 protesters, with thousands injured.

“Furthermore - in direct violation of article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - Iraqi media are increasingly being targeted by government-sanctioned internet shutdowns, which are now commonplace strategies to curb the media's ability to report freely,” the statement added.

The international organizations which included Free Press Unlimited, International Federation of Journalists, International Media Support, 

Media in Cooperation and Transition and CFI Media Development, said the Iraqi national mechanism for monitoring attacks against journalists - supported by UNESCO - has confirmed the following incidents:

26 attacks against journalists and 14 cases where media outlets were prevented from covering events in Baghdad and the provinces

Forced closure of 3 satellite channels by orders of the National Communications and Media Commission of Iraq (CMC)

Raids by unidentified armed groups into 4 TV offices, causing serious property damage

The organizations expressed their “grave concern about these developments, and requested the Iraqi PM to immediately enact appropriate measures to guarantee the ability of media workers to pursue their profession.”


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