05/01/2018 2:56 مساءا
The annual report of the year 2017 for the press freedom in Iraq
Publication/ the Iraqi journalists rights defense association
In spite of legislation of the Freedom of journalists law it didn't limit the violations on journalists from both official and non-official parties, and the domination of ISIS over several areas of Iraq had a great number of journalists killed or kidnapped while many others left the country out of fear of threats that endanger their life.
As that the instructions given by the Iraqi prime minister for the matter of providing protection and facilities for the journalists didn't get a noticeable response from the security parties also journalists have been beaten, threatened, and forbidden from going to work not to mention assaults on media headquarters.
While the judicial system works according to previous laws that limits free press work and exposing journalists to threats by judicial proceedings, arrests, and excessive fines especially particularly the articles in the Iraqi penal code 111 for the year 1969 which known as defamation laws. The Iraqi Parliament did not translate the constitutional guarantees for freedom of opinion, freedom of press, freedom of media, and freedom of printing and publishing (article 38) which permits the authority to restrict and bind those freedoms at any time or occasion it deems fit in the absence of laws protecting those constitutional freedoms.
The Iraqi journalists rights defense association has called on the Iraq Parliament to make fundamental amendments on the Iraqi penal code 111 of the year 1969 to make it compatible with article 38 of the Iraqi constitution, which guaranteed freedom of press and freedom of expression. Media organizations defending freedom of press are involved in laying the foundations of these amendments and with the participation of international experts and competent international organizations.
The violations of journalists through 2017
Most of the various security institutions deliberately take routine action in cases of assaults on journalists. The journalist who is attacked is often neglected, while those who assault journalists are allowed to go unpunished and there are no deterrent measures against the perpetrators except in a few cases. The fact that investigations into cases of abuse and violations against journalists are often not completed or neglected over time or simply the results are reserved.
The Iraqi journalists rights defense association documented in the year 2017 that 200 journalist were attacked in various Iraqi provinces and the attacks were distributed among beating/ blocking/ threatening/ expulsion/ detention without a judicial memo/ attacks on media offices/ assassinations and killing/ confiscation of journalists tools/ prosecuting due to publications of journalists and media organizations.
The media in the province of Sulaymaniyah is subjected to systematic attacks by the security authorities of Kurdish parties and the suspension of the NRT broadcast arbitrarily. While a number of journalists have received threats in various forms, ranging from threats of death or physical abuse which endangers their lives and safety.
While some official resorted to their tribes to pressure and intimidate journalists who published articles and investigative reports on corruption in this/that ministry which made things worse and doubled the pressure on journalists and media institutions from those who considered criticism by journalists and the media is unacceptable. The groups that made the threats included terrorist groups such as ISIS or armed groups or government and security officials, as well as unidentified individuals whose origin is unknown.
As for women journalists, the evidence suggests that female journalists face dual targeting in their work. On the one hand they are targeted by their sex. on the same time, they are targeted as journalists among media workers, while cases of harassment of women journalists increased to the highest levels in Iraq. The Iraqi journalists rights defense association has documented a number of cases of harassment against female journalists, who refuse to file a lawsuit in Iraqi courts against those who harass them for social reasons and circumstances and situation of female journalists who try to avoid harassment.
The Iraqi journalists rights defense association noted that the orders to detain journalists are made through filling a complaint in the Iraqi courts and that it is illegal and disproportionate to the journalist's status in Iraq and also contradicts the rights of journalists law. The Iraqi judicial center was supposed not to hear complaints against journalists because of publication or because of the practice of journalism since there is a constitutional text that supports freedom of the press. The association has documented that most of the arrest warrants for journalists were issued in an urgent manner, and the journalist's work and his place in society were not taken into account.
The right to obtain information
Journalists and media organizations suffer from the difficulty of obtaining information and news because of not legislating the rights of access to information law, which was submitted by Iraqi journalists rights defense association and was read one reading by the Iraqi parliament and then neglected this important and vital project for all citizens, Iraq has even ratified and pledged to legislate the law on access to information in the anti-corruption agreement signed with the United Nations, but unfortunately Iraq is evading the legislation of the right to information law, which increased the suffering of journalists and adversely affected their work It was even a reason to increase violence against journalists.
The unemployment and the cessation a number of media institutions
The financial crisis that has gripped Iraq since 2014 has had a negative effect on the press work in Iraq. The closure of a number of media institutions in Iraq due to the suspension of funding or the failure to pay the financial dues paid by the government institutions to the media has led to a number of journalists being arbitrarily expelled. The independent media institutions have been closed only, not the governmental institutions. Which have contributed to scaling the independent Iraqi media, which operates under extremely difficult and complex conditions. Unfortunately, government institutions have not initiate an action to support independent media or to help journalists who have been suspended from work, especially since they do not have employment contracts and do not have real social security.
Limitation of violence against journalists
Iraq needs to develop a strategic plan to fight violence against journalists and to take serious and realistic steps to provide a safe environment for journalists' work in Iraq and with the assistance of the competent international organizations to set an appropriate timetable for the implementation of this strategy in order to build a safe environment for journalists in Iraq and drawing a new media framework that promotes freedom of the press and finding a road map to build independent Iraqi media based on legislation and laws that support freedom of the press.
Reforming the legal environment regarding media and press freedom
In order to activate article 38 of the Iraqi constitution, which guarantees freedom of the press and freedom of expression, it requires the reforming of the Iraqi judicial system in accordance with the maintenance of freedom of the press and freedom of expression and stopping violence against journalists in Iraq and activating prosecutions against those involved in attacks on journalists and media organizations, substantial amendments to the following laws are required.
1. amended penal code 111 of the year 1969
It includes criminal defamation materials, which are more than 30 articles, the penalty for expressing opinion or publication is death, life or temporary imprisonment, confiscation of movable and immovable property, and other penalties.
2. publications law 206 of the year 1968
A law allowing the authority to impose control on all newspapers, magazines and books, and requires them to obtain prior approvals and allows the Authority to delete and add any material
3. Journalists and the media are subjected to trials in accordance with serious legal articles (art. 81-82_83_84_ 202_ 210_211_ 215_ 226_ 227_ 403_ 433_ 434) of the Iraqi Penal Code 111 of the year 1969.
The legislation is still in force, through which the media and journalists' issues are dealt with and prosecuted. There has been no attention to the seriousness of these articles or even talk about them. It seems that the political system in Iraq after the fall of the dictatorial regime in 2003, although it is a democratic system but it has deliberately maintained such legislation in order to stifle press freedom and insist on punishing journalists who criticize the mistakes in the Iraqi state.
Iraqi Journalists Rights Defense Association
Skype \ Ibrahim.ali939
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Iraqi Journalists Rights Defense Association