Jan 31, 2010
The Journalistic Freedoms Observatory condemns preventing media from reporting in the Misan province this morning by a military force.
The JFO’s representative in the province said that a bunch of media teams (including Al-Iraqiya, Al-Rasheed, Al-Baghdadeya, Al-Salam and Al-Etijah Satelite T.V. channels) headed early this morning to an oil facility in order to cover the process of removing mines planted around the oil wells, next to a border checkpoint, accompanied by officials from the provincial council, members of the Misan Oil Company and elements of the tenth division of the Iraqi army, under the sponsorship of the provincial council.
The representative informed the JFO while he was inside the holding area, that some elements of the 11th brigade of the Interior of Ministry, deploying in Misan, suddenly interrupted the journalists while they were working by preventing correspondents and cameramen from the coverage and tried to confiscate cameras without any excuse then the journalists were taken to the brigade’s headquarters.
The representative also referred to a verbal argument between the journalists and elements of the army with the presence of the provincial council member, Maitham Jassim Laftah, who did not take the initiative to stop the military intervention in the prevention of the work of journalists which ended with the hold of eight journalists at the brigade’s headquarters and they are still in detention.
Bearing in mind that this is the first incident of its kind in such media coverage; journalists have already attended similar event in last November without being subjected to pressure.
The Journalistic Freedoms Observatory demands Misan province Council to intervene to release the eight detained journalists in the brigade’s headquarters and to prevent any party from interfering with the work of journalists and media.