Pakistan Press Foundation is concerned over the closure of Al-Baghdadia TV in Iraq
Pakistan Press Foundation PPF in a letter to Haider al-Abadi, Prime Minister of Iraq, expressed concern over the closure of Al-Baghdadia TV and the forceful removal of channel’s staff from their offices.
PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali in his letter urged to restore Al-Baghdadia TV’s license and to allow staff to return to work and thus, resume the practice of the right to diverse perspectives.
According to Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the Ministry of Interior ordered security guards to remove staff from Al-Baghdadia’s offices in 16 Iraqi cities because its license was revoked by the state media regulator, the Iraqi Commission of Media and Communications. The director of Baghdad‘s station told that the guards were stationed outside the channel’s offices to prevent staff from entering.
Najm al-Rubaie, Al-Baghdadia TV’s director, told that the channel did not receive prior warning or any notices from Commission of Media and Communications. The Ministry of Interior said the station was closed on the orders of the Iraqi Commission of Media and Communications, which issues licenses and the statement from the commission said the channel’s license was withdrawn over content that incited attacks against security forces. The director of Al-Baghdadia TV’s London office, Abdel Hamed al-Saeh, denied that the station incites violence, and said he didn’t know what guidelines it has allegedly violated. He believes the station is being targeted because of its show “9 o’clock,” which exposes corruption.
Pakistan Press Foundation