Riot police and security forces attacked the cadres of the Dijla and Baghdadi channels while covering demonstrations in Najaf on Monday morning.
On a telephone call, the Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq learned that, Dijla tv reporter Karrar al-Assaf according to his words, was near the Provincial council gate to cover the escalating protests since yesterday in the city, and during the coverage, a security officer of the riot police pulled out the channel’s camera, handed it over to another security officer, and the latter destroyed it, and assaulted the reporter by beating and insulting him.
The association also learned about the security forces preventing al-Baghdadia tv staff, consisting of reporter Baraa al-Musawi and photographer Ali al-Akbar al-Musawi, from covering the demonstrations, destroying their camera and confiscating live broadcast equipment.
Najaf province has been the scene of widespread protests for the past two days to demand the dismissal of its governor, Louay al-Yassiri, his deputies and all his directors after services in the province deteriorated.
Press Freedom Advocacy Association expresses its concern about repeated attacks on journalists by security forces in the line of duty, and considers this a violation of the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of journalistic work.
The association calls on the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and the Minister of Interior to intervene immediately to find a solution that prevents journalists from being attacked during duty, and to stop preventing them from exercising their constitutional right to convey the reality of what is happening on ground.