Iraq set to shut down dozens of media outlets

Iraq has decided to prohibit the work of 39 media outlets, including the BBC and Voice of America, said reports from Baghdad.

Source: Tanjug

However, both the BBC and VOA say they are yet to encounter any problems related to the decision.

Meanwhile, Journalistic Freedoms Observatory - an Iraqi media rights organization - said that the commission that made the decision recommended to prohibit operation of 44 new media companies and called for the withdrawal of the recommendation because it violated the constitution.

"The commission announced in February this year in all newspapers a statement that invites the media to address the issue of work permits within two months," said Salem Mashkur, a member of the Commission for Communication and the Media.

However, "only a small number of media companies filed applications, while 39 did not, disrespecting the law," he added.

According to him, Voice of America was never given permission to operate, while the BBC registered only its service in Arabic, but not in English, the AFP has reported.

"The Ministry of Internal Affairs has asked for a list of channels that operate without permits, but there has not yet been any closure of confiscation of equipment," the commission's official said.

Journalistic Freedoms Observatory in turn claims that they have copies of documents showing that the commission reportedly "recommended the prohibition of 44 Iraqi and foreign media".


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