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A government official takes over a radio station and expels the staff

Feb 24, 2010
Journalistic Freedoms Observatory shows deep regret and astonishment for the illegal action practiced by a government official against a media organization in Diyala province, when he shut down a radio station in the district of Baladruz, east of Baquba, took it over and expelled the staff.

Majid Mohammed, head of (Al-Noor) radio station which broadcasts from Baladruz, told the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory that a security force related to Mr. Mohammed Ma’aroof, governor of Baladruz, stormed the radio station building in July 2009, seized it and expelled the staff, without any legal justification.

The station manager explained that the radio has outraged some local officials because of some on air broadcasts for complaints by citizens, he also warned of attempts to restrict the free media in the province.

Mohammed said that the closure came after a request by the governor of Baladruz to become a partner in the station just after the station’s receiving of support from (Iraq reconstruction team) and constructing new buildings.

Mohammed showed astonishment because of the absence of any reaction from the judicial institutions in Diyala for this act, and the city council did nothing but forming committees that did not play its role in investigating and settling the problem.

Al-Noor radio station, owned by media man, Majid Mohammed, was founded in 2006 and broadcasts political and variety materials from the center for Baladruz of the city of Baquba, and covers the entire province.

The Journalistic Freedoms Observatory believes that these attacks on media institutions and try to seize some of them, raise serious concerns about the future of media in the country and demands an end to these illegal abuses, and also demands for evacuation for the building and hand it back to its original owner and warns of taking legal action if the situation continues.




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