The US Embassy in Baghdad on Thursday condemned the increasing Harassment and Intimidation of Media in Iraq.
“The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad denounces actions that threaten freedom of press in Iraq, particularly the Communications and Media Commission’s (CMC) recent decision to suspend the operating license of nine television channels and the warning of others that they may face a similar fate,” reads a statement by the embassy.
The condemnation comes after CMC ordered the physical closure of Dijla TV on November 26 and the attack on Dijal TV correspondents, saying that neither the order nor the attacks consistent with the Iraqi government’s duty to uphold the right to freedom of expression, to protect journalists, and to tolerate opinions with which it may disagree.
The embassy called on the CMC to reverse its decision of Dijla TV closure.
“Freedom of speech and freedom of expression are the cornerstones of a democratic society,” the statement continues. “Media censorship based on allegations of bias or spreading misinformation, the harassment of journalists and the blocking of the internet are tactics used to compromise, threaten, dismiss, or even eliminate a free press.”
It emphasized that respecting and upholding the right of journalists to perform their duties free of harassment is fundamental to the protection and promotion of democracy.