A security Force affiliated to the Ministry of Interior raided the Offices of al-Baghdadiya channel in Baghdad on Wednesday afternoon. The raiders escorted members of Media and Communications Commission legal staff, who held the order of Safaauldin Rabii, Head of the Commission, of closing down al- Baghdadiya offices in Iraq.
An insider said that the security force closed down the main office at Mohammed Alqasim Street and the branch office at Abu Nuas Street, in Baghdad.
It is to be mentioned that the released order stipulated on the closure of the channel since 2014 without mentioning the reason.
The forces treated the staff brutally, and the officer executing the order said “the channel would be closed down against the will of whomsoever supporting you!”
Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq considers the incident a grave violation of the Iraqi constitution that ensured the freedom of press in the country. Add that no order should be executed by MOI which is issued by an acting commission. It is to be underlined that parliamentarian culture and media committee sent several books to MoI that state the illegal status of executing commission orders; thus questioning the very reliability of the closure on legal basis.
The approach to close down entire channels would produce a new sort of dictatorship that depends on excluding any opposing tongues that do not repeat Governmental statements.
The Association calls on PM and Parliament Speaker to interfere with the process of the transformation of Media and Communication Commission into a watchdog with a questioned authority by which they approve or prohibit media activity as they please; since it holds an organizational role and have no scrutiny mandate.