Riot forces beat journalists in Basra while covering protests


Riot police severely beat Al-Marbad radio reporter Haidar al-Muzani and Reuters photographer Mohammed al-Fartoussi, preventing them from covering a demonstration that began this evening in Basra.

Al-Muzani said in a telephone call to Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq that he was on a press mission to cover the return of demonstrations and the protesters to the sit-ins in Basra, but riot police attacked him and a Reuters photographer, and beat them with batons, while local police protected them from riot forces and quickly moved them away from the square.

This afternoon, Basra witnessed the return of demonstrations and the setting up of protesters’ tents in the sit-ins, demanding an end to corruption and reform.

While the Association wishes for the safety of fellow journalists, it strongly rejects the way riot forces deal with journalists, and considers this a violation of the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of journalistic work.

The association renews its call on the interior minister and the competent authorities to stop attacking media cadres in the performance of their duties, and holds the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and security leaders responsible for continuing to attack journalists without any deterrence.

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