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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Iraq restricts press freedoms further





Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been continuously centralizing control in Iraq and moving against some of his rivals. However, he is also moving against any media criticism of his regime.

A report from the Journalism Freedoms Observatory claims that there are more restrictions being placed on journalists. Also journalists are often arbitrarily arrested and often attacked by security forces when they try to cover events.

The report says:“Security forces deal with a journalist holding a camera in the same way it deals with those they find possessing car bombs or unlicensed weapons,” As well the government is promoting a new law that would mete out harsh penalties for distributing news that would be “against the public interests”. Journalists could be barred from accessing the Internet without a permit from the military.

The Deputy Interior Minister has said that media freedom is a "threat to national security". NOTE:: I expect he phrased it a bit differently but perhaps not. The minister even warned that journalists who publish news about government killings or arrests without government approval will be punished. For more see this article.

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