Iraq Closes 12 TV Stations and 4 Radio Stations for Coverage of Anti-Government Protests

Officials also warned other stations they face closure too

With the Iraqi government’s attempt to keep a lid on public protests by censoring large portions of the Internet having shown little sign of working, Iraq’s Communications and Media Commission (CMC) has announced they are closing 12 TV stations and four radio stations.

Officially, the stations are accused of “inciting violence,” which in practice means they are believed to be functioning as mouthpieces for the protest movement, which the CMC says violates licensing regulations.

In addition to closing these stations, the CMC also submitted warnings to five other TV channels warning them that they are also in violation for their coverage of the protests, and would face closure if they don’t correct their behavior.

This almost certainly isn’t going to have any substantial negative impact on the protests, anymore than firing live ammunition into the crowds did. Officials seem to be hoping they can wait the protests out with vague, empty promises of reform, but so far the violence and censorship seems to be making the protesters all the angrier at them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.