Feb 14, 2010
The Journalistic Freedoms Observatory condemns the Iraqi security authorities’ (stationed in Port Al-Walid, Iraqi-Syrian borders) prevention for “Nathr” Iraqi Magazine from entering the country which is printed in Damascus and distributed in Baghdad, Basrah, Damascus and Beirut.
The editor of the magazine, journalist Safaa Khalaf, told the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory that "officials of the Iraqi side in Port Al-Walid have prevented the magazine from entering Iraq for more than three weeks with the excuse that it contains" very serious political file, "they said.
Khalaf added:"the magazine staff in Baghdad were surprised by the no arrival of the magazine on the scheduled time, after the inquiry, they found out that officials of the Iraqi side in Port Al-Walid have prevented the magazine from entering Iraq in addition to confiscation of all the recent issues of it without a reason or legal explanation for this action."
“Nathr” is quarter monthly magazine, ran by an Iraqi specialized crew in Baghdad and the Iraqi poet (Omar Jaffal) in Damascus. The magazine concerned with the Iraqi creative cultural issues and do not have any political purpose and it is the first Iraqi quarterly publication distributed in the Arab countries after 2003.
The Iraqi Ministry of Culture issued an order last year, which imposes monitoring on the prints, and it said, then, that the purpose for such order is the protection of the community from the outputs which stoke up ethnic and sectarian divides.
The Journalistic Freedoms Observatory condemns the prevention of the entrance of “Nathr” magazine to Iraq, and calls upon the Ministry of Culture to take responsibility and undo what it had announced in earlier times that it would impose controls on entry of prints to the country with the excuse of urging sectarian violence (which was applied in this case).
The Journalistic Freedoms Observatory considers the prevention is an indication of a serious threat to freedom of the press and the media in Iraq and a clear violation of the constitution and violates the spirit of Article 38 of the Iraqi Constitution, which stated that freedom of the press, printing, advertising, media and publishing is guaranteed.