Basra police in cooperation with journalists’ union impose new restrictions on journalists in the province

Basra police command, in collaboration with the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate, imposed new restrictions on journalists in the province under the name of regulatory measures

The Iraqi Journalists Syndicate sent letters to journalists stating that the union’s headquarters should be contacted if the journalist who intends to cover the demonstrations if the journalist isn’t a union member, and in accordance with an agreement between it and the provincial police command

The union called on all journalists who are not affiliated with it to reach its branch on Thursday evening, otherwise the journalist will not be able to cover the demonstrations

Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq, expressing surprise at the measure, said the imposition of such controls on journalists to cover popular or political demonstrations was an additional restriction on journalists

The association explains that the so-called “protection of journalists” law did not require a journalist to belong to any journalists’ union, and granted them full freedom in doing so, while the permanent Iraqi constitution gives journalists the right to cover events without slightest controls

Therefore, the association fears that these controls will become flimsy pretexts to prevent journalists from covering and possibly detaining them and confiscating their equipment, as we have seen in previous demonstrations

The association calls on the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate to reverse the measure, which gives the operational and police leaders in Basra the right to prevent and arrest journalists. The association also holds the union responsible for any case of assault, restriction, prevention or detention in tomorrow’s demonstrations, as it has entered as a partner in the imposition of the so-called control

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