Riot police attacked the cameraman of Zaghros TV in Najaf province and confiscated his equipment while he wascovering the demonstrations on Monday evening.
Fellow photographer Bashar Mahdi told Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq that he was on a mission to cover the angry demonstrations that have taken place in the city since yesterday to demand improvement of electricity service, near the local government building, and during the coverage, members of the riot police beat the photographer with batons, confiscated the camera and other equipment, resulting in severe bruises in the leg and back area, and was taken to the nearby hospital for treatment.
Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq wishes safety to fellow cameramanBashar Mahdi, and considers the attack a violation of the principles of freedom of journalism in the country and a violation of the Constitution.
While the association expresses concern about the government’s silence after repeated attacks on press personnel, it renews its call for the Interior Minister and the Najaf provincial police chief to intervene immediately and provide an explanation of the incident, and find a quick solution that prevents the security forces from attacking journalists while performing their duties.
The Association also calls on the international community to intervene to stop the ongoing crackdown on the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of the press, which is enshrined in international conventions and treaties signed by the Republic of Iraq since its dictatorship changed to democracy until now.