Statement on Closure of Some Offices of Al-Sharqiya TV [EN/AR]

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Baghdad, 19 December 2017 –The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) follows with concern the reports of the closure of some offices of Al Sharqiya TV.

A free and impartial media forms the basis of a democratic society. Any steps taken against the media must be avoided and must not be applied except in exceptional cases and in full conformity with domestic law and international human rights obligations.

It is imperative that the authorities ensure that journalists are protected and able to do their job in an environment free of threats and intimidation. The media has professional responsibilities and must operate in full compliance with the laws and the applicable rules and regulations. At the same time, hate speech and incitement to violence based on religion, race or political affiliation, have no place in a democracy.

The Mission recalls that journalists have been caught up in the conflict over the years – most recently a journalist was killed and two others assaulted, and two TV stations have been ordered closed for failure to obtain licenses, actions that have been criticized by international media watchdogs.

UNAMI expresses hope that this latest incident with Al-Sharqiya TV will find its resolution without delay.

For more information, please contact: Mr. Samir Ghattas, Director of Public Information/Spokesperson

United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Phone: +964 790 193 1281, Email:<>

or the UNAMI Public Information Office:<>