Cairo Septmber 5, 2012
ANHRI denounces,today, the detain of the Iraqi journalists for several hours and abuses them without legal justification, by the elements of intelligence belonging to the Eleventh division of the Ministry of Defense who allegedly took pictures in places of heritage as required by the media coverage and the field work.
The elements of intelligence of eleventh division of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense detained three journalists; Safa Diab, Omar Alajafal and Safa Khalef for five hours at the headquarters of the dvision, where he was conducting investigations with them, to reveal their intentions, despite the presence of all machines and equipments that prove their perform of their journalistic work normally.
The military intelligence forced them to sign a written pledge of not to conduct any terrorist acts! The intelligence forces restricted the journalists mentioned, and blindfolded them as well as beat them in a harsh manner and abused them in an unacceptable way, insulted them, used of improper words and accused someone of mental illness, in addition to confiscation of their media equipments.
ANHRI expresses it deep concern of the increasing violations against journalists and media publishings in Iraq in the recent times, because field journalists are constantly exposed to pressure and the disruption of their performance of their work by preventing them from shooting and the confiscation of their tools.
In addition, Iraq has issued a package of laws that give the civilian and military authorities excessive powers enabling them to commit such violations without being held accountable.
ANHRI said that “The infringement on journalists and confiscation of their equipment while performing their job is a clear violation to the freedom of opinion and expression and the right to access to information against the provisions of the Iraqi Constitution, which guarantees the right of access to information and do not attack the journalists.”
ANHRI calls the Iraqi authorities to respect the right of journalists to access to information and express their views and do not terrorize them and the application of the Constitution to ensure that the protection of journalists and not confiscate their equipments as well as respect their work during their coverage in the field, as well as open an investigation with the responsible for attacks on the journalists so he can not evade from punishment and it could not be an approach that is opened to conduct more attacks on the press and journalists.
Cairo Septmber 5, 2012