Joint security forces from the interior and National security, accompanied by a team from the Communications and Media Commission, stormed the headquarters of Dijlah channel on Tuesday evening.
According to a number of colleagues working in the channel, the force raided the channel after midnight, and disconnected all the broadcasting equipment, and after contacts by the channel’s management, the Presidential Regiment that is in charge of securing the area, reached the site and detained the joint force.
Shortly after the raid, the Presidential Regiment received the order to officially close the channel by the security force that stormed the channel, accordingly, the channel was closed and its employees were asked to leave immediately, after the confiscation of a transmitter, a server pc that transfers material, a surveillance camera and a special device for mobile chips.
Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq clarified on different occasions that the decisions of the Communications and Media Commission are not based on any judicial grounds, and that the violation of the regulations they invoke applies to dozens of satellite channels and media bodies, which indicates the selectivity of the commission, which by it loses its independence that is stipulated in the Constitution.
The arbitrary closure does not allow the authority to confiscate any of the equipment, which is a flagrant violation of the commission’s own law.
Press Freedom Advocacy Association, which strongly condemns the intrusion of the satellite channel by a security force, as it violates the Constitution, declares its solidarity with the cadres of the channel, and holds the President of the Republic, being the protector of the constitution, responsible for the setback of the freedom of press in the country, which is guaranteed constitutionally without showing any decisive attitude to prevent continuing abuses and restrictions imposed upon the press and journalists.
The association calls on the free world to protect the remaining freedom of information and press in Iraq, especially since the Communications and Media Commission decided in its latest book to shut down nine satellite channels and five radio stations, and warned many other media outlets, which sets a dangerous precedent in Iraq, which has consistently rejected all calls aiming to overthrow the democratic system.