Media and Communications Commission (MCC) informed Asharqiya channel operating in Baghdad that it is banned from exercising function on Iraqi grounds.
Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq managed to obtain the books issued by the commission and signed by its president Safaa Aldin Alsafi, responding the required clarification required by MP Mohammad Nasir Alkarbouli office, concerning the channel’s function in Iraq; the book stipulates that “the channel’s work is not authorized by the commission and it is totally unaccepted to act otherwise on Iraqi grounds. Adding that the commission recommended taking all related legal consequences against the channel. Still no action was made till the issuance of the MP’s letter in spite that line sides were provided with the monthly status concerning the sides authorized by the commission, resulting that the channel continues illegal broadcasting.”
The Association learnt from colleagues working at the aforementioned channel that many sides target the channel’s success and that the channel deals with a broadcasting Company ; a company that deals with many other media firms in Iraq. The source added that the channel abides with all Iraqi laws and adheres with the commission’s recommendations.
At the time that Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq condemns this coercive action taken by MCC, it stresses upon the fact that the conduct of the latter is considered a violation to the Iraqi constitution, valid agreements and international conventions, especially that by this step the commission is considered a serious precedent in exceeding the commission’s executive powers that are limited by law in accordance to decision no. 65 issued at Bremer’s CPA era ; a court statement must be issued to attain media body’s closure and no legal statement issued by any commission could achieve this level of execution. Thus, underlining another violation in the commission’s function list. Additionally this action by the commission crosscuts with the directive of PM Alibadi that all obstructive procedures taken in the previous era should be lifted.
Press Freedom Advocacy Association urges PM Haidar Alibadi to investigate this case especially that no comments were released concerning recent channel’s function. At this point it is worth raising the question about MP’s urging the commission to ban the channel now and the response the MCC displayed in exchange.
The Association calls PM Haidar Alibadito relieve Alsafi from his post to release the commission from its coercive stance against media bodies and press family in the country. It also warns from the consequences of obeying these illegal orders that clearly indicates the manipulation of politicians with media bodies’ direction and function.