A riot police force in Basra province verbally and physically attacked a TV channel cameraman on July 6, 2022, forcing him to sign a written pledge not to record any demonstrations in the area.
Maher Al-Harbi, a reporter for "Watan" TV channel in Basra, informed JFO that his team, which included photographer Karar Al-Muhammadawi, had been exposed to "violations, insults, and beatings by riot police in Basra governorate."
Regarding the details of the incident, Al-Harbi explains that "While documenting a demonstration of education lecturers in front of the Basra Governorate Office building at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, July 6, 2022, a riot police force harassed Al-Muhammadawi and consequently prevented him from recording any videos or taking photos of the protest".
Al-Harbi went on to say that "while videoing of violence and oppression of demonstrators, a number of riot police members attacked our Cameraman and prevented him from filming by closing the camera lens, and verbally abused him. using inappropriate words, including insulting his family".
He added, "Al-Muhammadawi, in his attempt to convince them that he is a journalist and doing his duty, they beat him and took his camera away."
He pointed out that "That didn't completely satisfy the security forces. After taking the equipment, they held Karar al-Muhammadawi for two and a half hours until forcing him to sign a pledge not to record any demonstrations in Basra Governorate in exchange for his release".
JFO demands that an immediate investigation into the incident be conducted by the federal security authorities and the local government of Basra, headed by Governor Asaad Al-Eidani, the head of the Basra Governorate's Supreme Security Committee.
JFO also calls on the authorities of Basrah to follow the laws that protect press and media freedom, to provide them with the appropriate protection, and to investigate prior assassinations in Basra rather than targeting more journalists and limiting their work.