Iraqi journalist family is celebrating 150 years of journalism in Iraq, after the first issue of the “al-Zawraa newspaper” in 1869 in Baghdad, which is a national day for the Iraqi press, in extremely complicated circumstances.
Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq presents its congratulations and blessings to the workers in the field of journalism in their various fields, and affirms its continued efforts to provide a safe legal environment for journalistic work through its campaigns to amend certain articles contained in the Iraqi Penal Code to reduce the violations that affect Journalists in Iraq, where the association monitored a year in its annual report on World Press Freedom Day, 231 cases of various violations, and these numbers continued to grow steadily in the current year.
We would like to point out that Iraqi journalists are working under harsh and inappropriate conditions and are suffering from ongoing violations, including violations committed by security forces and the body guards of officials against them, as well as failure to proceed with the file of impunity, the most dangerous file that carries Many secrets, information and real causes behind targeting journalists.
We recall that international and UN organizations have called on successive governments to open this dossier more than once, but the measures have been stalled to the moment.
Despite the democratic change that took place in Iraq after 2003, the legal environment for journalistic work continues to suffer from laws inherited from previous periods of dictatorship, which are unjust and restrictive to freedom of expression, information and publishing, and contain materials amounting to death and life sentence. These are (articles of crimes published in the Iraqi Penal Code of 1969, the Publications Act 1973, the Ministry of Information Act of 2001, the censorship of Films and Film Works Act of 1973).
The association calls on the Prime Minister, Mr. Adel Abdel Mahdi, to take action for eliminating the abuses against journalists by members of the security forces and others, and to punish the offender, as the prime Minister has already indicated in one of his weekly press conferences the right enshrined in the Iraqi permanent Constitution, without making decisions or taking any action, and his speech remained solely for media consumption.
The speaker also calls on Mr. Mohammed al-Halbousi, who represents the most important authorities of the country, to amend the laws inherited from the previous dictatorship, which are not commensurate with the current journalistic work environment, and to enact a law to reactivate the publishing court, which is very important for journalists.
On this day, we must recall the martyrs of the profession who have sacrificed for the free word from 2003 until now, who have fallen into the hands of terrorist organizations and uncontrolled militias, and the forces of darkness and militancy
We must not forget the heroism of the representatives of the journalistic family in the arenas of war and liberation, escorted by the various types and formations of the security forces who accompanied the steps of national victory over ISIS, in many parts of the country
Mercy for the souls of all the martyrs of the journalistic family and the eternal memory of all of them.