The Prime Minister’s protection prevented cameramen from entering the hall of the Rashid Hotel, which witnessed the central ceremony of the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate on the occasion of the 154th National Day of the Iraqi Press, on Saturday morning.
According to the correspondent of “eNews” Laith Jawamir, who informed the Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq, that the cameramen approached the hotel upon an official invitation, but as soon as the press teams of Zagros, Sumaria, eNews, Al-Ghadir, Al-Ahad arrived at the hotel, the Prime Minister’s protections, prevented them from entering the concert hall. The ceremony was inaugurated by the Prime Minister ‘Mohammed Shiyaa Sudani’ and attended by the head of the Journalists Syndicate ‘Muayad al-Lami’ and a number of deputies, ministers, press delegations and representatives of Arab and foreign journalists’ unions.
Jawamir added that the channels were not allowed to broadcast live until after the prime minister left the ceremony, although all journalists present were subjected to a thorough inspection before entering the hotel.
Colleagues complained to the association about the ill-treatment they are subjected to while attending official government events.
This ban comes at the time that Al-Sudani was promising to protect the freedom of the media; channels behind doors were prevented from filming their ceremony.
The Association for the Defense of Press Freedom in Iraq condemns what colleagues were subjected to by the protection of the Prime Minister, and considers it a clear violation of the freedom of press and media work, and contrary to what was stated in the Sudanese speech.
The association calls for the personal protections of officials, to respect the constitution, to allow journalists to perform their assigned duties, and to abide by the constitution, which guarantees the freedom of journalistic work, in all its forms..