Tuesday, January 10, 2012

No free press in Iraq

Attacks on both local and international journalists across Iraq have not stopped to this day, finds Al Jazeera.

Dahr Jamail

"Baghdad, Iraq - Iraq has been one of the deadliest countries in the world for journalists since 2003.

While scores of newspapers and media outlets blossomed across Baghdad following the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime in the spring of 2003, the media renaissance was also met with attacks on both local and international journalists across the country - that have not stopped to this day.

Iraq was the deadliest country in the world for journalists every year from 2003 to 2008, the third deadliest in 2009, and the second deadliest in 2010 and 2011, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)....

Atmosphere of fear

On September 8, 2011, Iraqi journalist Hadi al-Mahdi was shot in his Baghdad home by assailants using pistols with silencers. Mahdi had hosted a thrice-weekly radio show covering social and political issues, including government corruption, bribery and sectarianism.

On his Facebook page, Mahdi had regularly organised pro-democracy demonstrations and publicised threats he had received. Having become afraid for his safety, two months before his murder, Mahdi had stepped down from his radio show.....

Many difficulties

Ahmed Rehayma, office director at the Society for Defending Press Freedom in Iraq again points to the government for the root of the current problems facing Iraqi journalists.

"This pressure from the government has happened to all of us," he explained. "It's a fact we cannot deny."....."

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