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Journalists detained and Beaten in Baghdad

June, 18, 2008 / Journalists work for local and Arab satellite channels are beaten and detained inside al-Karkh hospital in Baghdad this Wednesday morning.

Iraqi army force stopped, humiliated, and beaten more than 15 reporters and TV cameramen accompanying Baghdad provincial council's head Maeen al-Kadhimi upon his visit to al-Karkh general hospital to oversee the victims of the al-Hurriya district bombing.

Al-Furat satellite channel cameraman Ali Rasheed told the journalistic freedoms observatory that a debate took place between the guards of the provincial council head and the force in charge of guarding the hospital, then the latter rudely treated the journalists when some of the soldiers tried to "confiscate my camera under the allegation that I have filmed the debate despite my assurance that I did not. Then one of the soldiers forcibly beaten me, I fell down with my camera to the ground".

Al-Hurra satellite channel reporter Husam al-Haj told the observatory that the military force did not mention the reasons why they stopped that huge number of journalists to cover that visit or why they detained them inside the hospital.

Al-Haj added that some reporters work for al-Hurra, al-Furat, al-Iraqiya, and al-Salam satellite channels fled the hospital and ran out of it in a very exciting way.

Journalistic freedoms observatory asks the bodies concerned to stop such sarcastic violations to the freedom of press and the continuous aggression on the field reporters and cameramen, and asks the security heads and Baghdad operation commander to put an end to the aggressions against the journalists conducted by the security and military forces and urges them to show commitments to the orders and decisions of the Prime Minister Noori al-Maliki that asserts to "take severe measures against whoever mistreats the journalists and media men and violates their rights and freedoms".

Translated in cooperation with the "reporters with out borders" organization




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