Basra Security forces arrested two journalists and several others were attacked while they were covering demonstrations in Basra province on Saturday evening.
Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Basra reported that (Issam Al Sudani), a correspondent for the Reuters agency was detained by SWAT forces for several hours, while he was at Abdul Karim Square near the governorate Diwan to cover the demonstration. The forces took him to the police station behind the Diwan building. Colleague Safa Al-Ghali was also arrested and released later, while performing his duties to cover the scene.
Fouad al-Hilfy, a correspondent for W.tv in Basra, told the association that he had been assaulted by members of the security forces verbally assaulting him and breaking parts of his camera, forcibly pulling him away from the protest yard. Shihab Ahmed, Basra Press correspondent was wounded and found in a state of suffocation caused by direct Tear gas targeting in the demonstration, he fainted for 15 minutes, he found himsedlf in a health clinic, after being dragged by paramedics from the square of Abdul Karim, Ahmed was subjected to various kinds of verbal insults, by a member of the security forces, before being targeted with a tear-gas canister nearby.
The colleague, Shihab Ahmed, was astonished at the unjustified attack by the security forces against the journalists.
The Association of press freedom in Iraq, which strongly deplores the repression and direct targeting of media workers by security agents, considers the direct targeting of journalists and the prevention of coverage to be a flagrant violation of the Constitution and the law, especially since security forces have worked under orders issued Of seniors, as the video showing the wtv satellite camera being destroyed by a soldier in front of the officer in the demonstration site.
The Assembly holds prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces responsible for this breach, as well as the safety of all journalists performing their duties and transporting what is happening in Basra. It calls on him to investigate the incidents in which a group of journalists was injured, as well as the detention of two of them, by the security forces stationed there.
The Assembly also calls on international organizations involved in the rescue of journalists in Basra from the repression intended by the security authorities and joining local demands to hold accountable those leaders who have issued direct orders to encroach on journalists.