Releasing Alsumaria and BBC Arabic staffs after an hour of detention


Security forces, on Monday, detained Alsumaria Satellite Channel’s team and BBC Arabic woman-correspondent in Basrah during protests coverage; only released after writing an assurance that no coverage would take place by them of any protests in the province.

Press Freedom Advocacy Association Coordinator said that the Sumeria team included cameraman Husam Ouda and Editor Salam Sami who were banned from shooting the demonstrations and their equipment was seized in addition of detaining BBC Arabic correspondent during the protests.

The association was informed by one of the detainees that Sumeria correspondent Najah Alabidy and a number of other journalists were led to the office of Basra Chief of operations brigadier General Qasim Nazal, to take some photos with them to demonstrate that no journalists were detained. They were transferred to the police station to sign an assertion that they would not ever cover any demonstration in Basrah; according to initial information.

Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq calls on the Basrah chief of operations to discontinue his repeated violations of law and constitution especially that the signed assertion is an unprecedented violation in addition of being illegal in its nature.

The association demands that commander in chief of armed forces meets his obligations that were promised to the journalists and to hold Basra chief commander accountable instantly for deceiving the public and hindering press functioning in the province. 

The association calls on all international organizations and UN delegation in Iraq to interfere for the benefit of the journalists and their protection whom their security is jeopardized with any erupting protest in Basrah.

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