Members of the “law enforcement” arrested three photojournalists and severely beaten a fourth.
The photojournalist of “DPA” German Press Agency, Amir Al-Mohammadawi, published a video clip, showing the violence and assault he was subjected to at the hands of security forces.
A source in Reuters told the Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq that the security forces who were responsible for dispersing the protests near the Swedish embassy, arrested three photojournalists; Reuters photographers Ahmed Saad, Maher Al-Mashhadani, and “AP” photographer Hadi Mazban, and took them to the Green Zone police station, pointing out that the colleagues are still detained by the security, and have not been released till the moment of reporting.
The association learned that the ‘Maher Al-Mashhadani’ was severely beaten by riot forces, during the dispersal of the protest near the embassy, which led to bruises in the back area, before being arrested by security, and transferred to the police station.
For his part, the German Press Agency “DPA” Amir Al-Muhammadawi, was near the Swedish embassy to cover the protests, but he was surprised by security elements demanding him to stop filming, and after he told them that he was a photojournalist, they beat him severely, resulting in bruises in the head, and tearing his shirt, pointing out that the force smashed one of the lenses of his cameras, and confiscated another, then detained him inside a caravan, and released him, without returning his press equipment.
It is noteworthy that the security forces did not arrest any of the protesters or attack anyone, at the moment of the fire in the Swedish embassy building.
The Association condemns this brutal attack by the security forces, to prevent journalists from covering the protests, and considers it a flagrant violation of the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of press and media work, and an authoritarian and repressive behavior, as well as revealing the falsehood of the recommendations of the Council of Ministers that are recently launched, to facilitate the work of journalists and media workers.
The association holds the Prime Minister responsible for the safety of the detained journalists, and the responsibility for the passivity of the security elements in dealing with journalists, and turning them into monsters in any event by attacking the journalists’ and smashing their equipment in a shameful way.
The association calls on the Prime Minister to break his silence and release the detained journalists, and to take firm measures against the security forces attacking colleagues, and to provide them with protection instead of using violent actions to obstruct their work.
The association also calls on the security services to respect the principles of the law, and to act in accordance with the provisions of the constitution, which guarantees the freedom of journalistic work in all its forms.