Journalistic Freedoms Observatory rejects the pressure and duress methods that are being used by some governmental institutions and provincial councils on journalists and reporters to reveal their sources.
Fadhil Rashad, Al-Hayat, London’s newspaper correspondent in Najaf, told the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, that the Najaf provincial council filed a lawsuit against him afterwards he published a report in Al-Hayat newspaper on Sunday concerns the removal of (Baathists) from the province after the bombings that hit the city giving them one day time limit.
Rashad was summoned to the security committee in the provincial council where one of the officials asked him to reveal the names of people who open cast their press statements so as to withdraw the case submitted to the Court of Najaf in return, but Rashad refused categorically.
Rashad also told the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory that he is committed to the professional codes of ethics which prohibit him from disclosure of sources of information. He had received via his personal mail the statement of the Provincial Council for the removal of Baathists, just like other reporters and journalists, then he made a report about it.
The holy city of Najaf have experienced harassments and attacks against journalists last week, where a number of journalists were prevented from practicing their job and their hospital admission to follow up with those injured in the bombings of the city last week, a number of policemen of the commandership of Al-Najaf police severely beat journalists, photographers and technicians. Colleagues Haydar Husain Yaly, “Afaq” satellite TV channel cameraman; Ali Algam, “Al-Fayha’a” satellite TV channel cameraman and Haydar Salih, “Al-Ettijah” satellite TV channel correspondant, were beaten and insulted which led to injuries and bruises on the face and parts of the body. Also colleague Ali Al-Tayar, (freelance journalist) was verbally abused, called names and his camera was taken and broken.
And also the way that one of the checkpoints dealt with (Alhurra Iraq) satellite channel in preventing them from entering the city.
The Journalistic Freedoms Observatory calls upon the Council of Najaf province to act transparently enough with the journalists and the media, not to practice pressure against them to reveal their sources, and to be committed to the Iraqi constitution, which calls for the respect of privacy and freedom of expression.