Media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) today issued a statement condemning the Iraqi government for its growing harassment of media personnel, “especially TV crews.” The statement noted that summary detentions of reporters and physical attacks on journalists are on the rise.
RSF also expressed concern at a statement this weekend by Iraq’s Interior Ministry, when official Adnan al-Asadi condemned freedom of information as a “threat to internal security” and warned reporters not to publish information about killings in Iraq without prior ministry permission.
Iraq’s government since the US occupation has had an extremely checkered history with regards to media treatment. Reporters, even those working for major outlets, have been regularly detained as suspects by both Iraqi and US forces, and are often subjected to torture simply for covering incidents the regime would rather keep secret.
The Maliki government has also repeatedly singled out the “international mass media” for covering some of their shadier activities, insisting that they were an effort to “provoke sectarian strife” across the nation.