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Home > Country focus > Iraq > Iraq: After Targeting “Al Sabah Al Jadid” Newspaper and “Sama Al Yom” News (...)

Iraq: After Targeting “Al Sabah Al Jadid” Newspaper and “Sama Al Yom” News Agency’s Offices.. ANHRI calls on Iraqi Authorities to Prosecute Culprits

Wednesday 12 February 2014, by The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)

Cairo: 12 February, 2014

The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) today denounced the increasing violations against journalists, under Iraqi authorities’ inaction to provide necessary protection for press institutions and their employees.

Some unidentified gunmen targeted, on February 10, “Al Sabah Al Jadid” newspaper’s office in central Baghdad by four bombs, two of which had been exploded; leaving the building damaged. This came shortly after the newspaper had published a press supplement included an expressive caricature about a prominent religious figure. This was included in an issue about the history of the Iranian revolution during its thirty-fifth anniversary. The newspaper, accordingly, removed the caricature and the entire supplement from its website, and decided to apologize for publishing such a subject as well.

In a continuation of targeting press institutions and journalists for doing their work, a group of gunmen stormed, on February 8, the headquarters of “Sama Al-yom” news agency in central Baghdad. They threatened the editor-in-chief and employees to devastate the agency and its staff if they will not completely stop working.
“The assaults on press institutions during the last period, are a continuation of the series of targeting press and media institutions and their employees, by unidentified gunmen. This is in addition to violations committed by some Iraqi state apparatus against media institutions”, ANHRI said.

ANHRI showed that Iraqi authorities’ silence and absence of accountability over such violations against journalists and media professionals, encourage culprits to commit more assaults on press freedom; which is recently witnessing a remarkable setback. It is noteworthy that the death toll of journalists and media professionals reached no less than 10 during last year. We would not be exaggerating if we say that Iraq has become one of the most dangerous countries for journalists ‘ lives.

ANHRI demanded from Iraqi Ministry of Interiorto prosecute culprits, to provide a necessary protection for media and press institutions, and to seriously deal with complaints filed by them; in order to halt the increasing attacks on these institutions.

SOURCE: http://www.anhri.net/en/?p=15368

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