The Journalistic Freedoms Observatory condemns the arbitrary actions carried out by local policemen in one of the checkpoints located at the entrance of the city of Najaf which had prevented the media team of (Alhurra Iraq) satellite channel from entering the town.
Haydar Al-Badri, (Alhurra Iraq) satellite channel’s correspondent in Babylon province told The Journalistic Freedoms Observatory that he was heading with his colleagues to the holy city of Najaf after completing a media mission in the city of Kifl to where the regional office of the channel in Najaf on Sunday afternoon when a governorate’s check point prevented them from entering the city because of carrying television cameras.
Al-Badri added: The elements of the check point stopped our car demanding inspection and when we told them that we are journalists, they insisted on searching the car, then told us that we are not allowed to enter Najaf city because we were carrying the team’s cameras, we tried as much as possible to persuade them of the importance of getting to the Regional Office but there was no use.
He also said that he called his colleague, Raji Naseer, the channel’s correspondent in Najaf to get permission from the police commandership for entrance but the policemen did not seem to care about that. “Then we decided to go back to Hilla, meanwhile, when it was 4:00 p.m., our colleague, Raji Naseer, called back asking us to return after making sure that we will be able to enter. On the way back we were surprised that nobody blocked our way asking us to stop for inspection. We were astonished for the non professional procedures”.
The Journalistic Freedoms Observatory condemns this un accepted procedure carried out by local policemen in one of the checkpoints located at the entrance to the city of Najaf against (Alhurra Iraq) satellite channel and calls Najaf provincial council and the leadership of the police to take action to ensure respect of the press and freedom of journalists to travel within the province to cover events without hindrance.