Media employee at the Babylon city council, Mr. Muhey Al-Mas’oodey, was referred to investigation after he published the proceedings of one of the "open" session proceedings of a public meeting of the council. This seesion has seen accusations between services committee chairman, Hassan Al-Toofan, and the president of the council, Kazem Toman, because of non-official employments.
Al-Mas’oodey has published the proceedings of this meeting at the website (Kitabat), last week, but he was surprised next day of summons for investigation.
Al-Mas’oodey told the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, that the president of the council, Kazem Majeed Toman, and the chairman of the energy committee, Mansour Medawar, attacked him during the recent meeting of the council considering his publication on (Kitabat) website is a violation for the privacy of the session, although it was a public session in which many issues were discussed, including the new employments issue.
Al-Mas’oodey quoted from Toman and Medawar: “raising the issue in the media does not serve the interests of the council the fact that some of its members are candidates in the parliamentary elections, which could hurt their reputation and affect their political future.”
Sources from within the provincial council, explained to the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory that the governor of Babylon, Salman Al-Zergany, warned members of the Babylon province council from talking to reporters and in public.
The Journalistic Freedoms Observatory to finds that the provincial council’s procedure have serious consequences for freedom of expression and the press in Iraq in general, and Babylon in particular. And warns of going too far in using the official authorizations to crack down on journalists and restricting their freedoms and hinder their access to information.
At the same time, The Journalistic Freedoms Observatory asks Babylon city council to take measures to stop these abuses and prevent its negative impact on media freedom.
The report was prepared by Haidar Al-Badri,Representative of the JFO/ Middle Euphrates region.