The Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq expresses its high concern towards the rush of most political blocs in the House of Representatives to include chronic controversial issues that threaten the freedom of journalistic work on the agenda of the Council of Representatives.
The Association declares its strong rejection of the adherence of a number of members of the House of Representatives to the draft laws rejected by their direct stakeholders, especially the so-called draft law on information crimes or the draft law on freedom of expression and peaceful demonstration.
The Association recalls that it was part along with many fellow organizations that submitted detailed amendments to these two bills over the past 11 years, and the HOR reached in its last session acceptable formulations for the draft of information crimes, after removing everything that contradicts with the Iraqi constitution, and international treaties and conventions, but the current House of Representatives neglected all the past civil and parliamentary effort, and is heading towards establishing a new dictatorship.
Therefore, the House of Representatives’ disregard for civil attitude, opinion makers, the press family and international organizations gives a negative indication about the performance of the current parliament, and creates a voiceless enemy.
The association holds the Prime Minister Mohammed Shiyaa al-Sudani the responsibility for returning the chronic package of laws back to parliament, without caring about the future of freedom of expression and journalistic work in Iraq.
The Association calls on the UN and international organizations to define their position on the efforts of some political blocs in the country who intend toimpose their will on the direct stakeholders in these laws, especially journalists and opinion makers.
The sentencing of one of the opinion holders to three years in prison, on charges of insulting one of the state institutions or symbols, in accordance with the Iraqi Penal Code of 1969, indicates the existence of a political will to bypass the constitution and international conventions and treaties on freedom of expression, and to reproduce a new dictatorship..