The head of the Iraqi media network, FadilFarajallah, has ordered the transfer of a media staff (war correspondent, presenter, director, designer) to the legal department for investigation, in connection with their participation in demonstrations in the central and southern cities of the country.
Colleagues Ali Jawad, Naseer Marq, Ali Meftin, Hossam Falah and Haidar Jawad mentioned in their letter to the Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq the details of their investigation, stressing that they were summoned to the legal department of the Iraqi Media Network, and after inquiry they learned that the investigation was at the direct request of the head of the network, and that the investigative questions revolved around their participation in the demonstrations in Iraq, and their appearance as activists in international, Arab and local channels, as well as the content of their publications through social networks.
They added that although they exercised a constitutional right to participate in the demonstrations, the committee insisted on linking issues related to their work and attendance as media workers to the demonstrations, noting that the head of the network and some network officials prevented them from practicing their journalistic work during the previous period because of their activity in the demonstrations.
They said the committee was set up to satisfy the previous government, which contributed to the killing of protesters and suppressed press freedoms, which resigned after pressure from the demonstrators and their protests.
“Network officials are practicing against us all kinds of suppression of freedoms, through repeated investigations, and have reached the point of agreeing to punish us in advance before they even listen to our statements about the case and give us the right to defend ourselves,” the colleagues said.
Colleague Naseer Lazim, a program presenter in the network and in a skype interview posted on social media, revealed that he was informed of a complaint by one of the employees in the network, under the pretext of their interruption of work at the time of the demonstrations, indicating that he and the rest of the colleagues did not stop working at all, but the management of the network refused to include the programs prepared by him and colleague (Ali Jawad), in the program course that was being prepared at the time of the demonstrations.
Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq rejects the measures issued against thecolleagues working for the Iraqi Media Network and is investigating their participation in the demonstrations as a confiscation of their right to express the opinion guaranteed by the Constitution.
The association calls on those responsible for managing the work of the Iraqi media network to stop harassing journalists, to remote themselvesfrom unjust methods, and to adhere with the provisions of the country’s constitution; the right to demonstrate and participate in reform.
The association also calls on the Prime Ministerto investigate the events taking place in IMN that adopt means of exclusion and don’t apply to any professional context.