Journalistic Freedoms Observatory rejects the illegal justifications presented by the Council of Thei Qar governorate as a pretext to shut down the office of Al-Baghdadeya satellite T.V. channel in Nasiriyah city last Saturday, and request the explanation of the real reasons for this action and apologize for it.
An official source in the administration of the channel told the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory that the Council of Thei Qar governorate issued a decree banning the work of the station at the center of the city of Nasiriyah on the pretext of "promoting the disbanded Baath party and shed light on the negatives away from the professionalism and impartiality."
The official, who refused to be named, said that the decision to shut down the channel's office is "illegal" and he declined the Council’s allegations which focused on (promoting the Baath Party and make inroads upon religious symbols and highlight the negatives outside the contexts of professional work).
Al-Baghdadeya channel office is functioning in Thei Qar province since 2005, by legal clearances issued by the decision maker offices there.
The official also said that sources from the provincial council told his administration that this decision was based on the guidance of the supreme bodies in Baghdad but the sources said later that the discomfort at the governorate’s offices is due to the contents of (yas’id sabahak ya Iraq) T.V. show which interviews disadvantaged social segments that complains of the bad services.
The official considered the Council’s excuses “weak and does not stand up facing the reality of the channel and it’s eagerness to present the facts to the viewers."
This closure occurs at the same time with the deputy’s governor of Dewaneya governorate, ”Faisal Hasan Sukkar”, decision for banning the direct broadcast of the channel from the city.
Previously, the vice president of Thei Qar governorate council, Abdul Hadi Mohan Al- Sa’adawi, told (Al- Nasiriyah) news network that “the Council shall submit its recommendation to the governor of Thei Qar to close the channel's office in Thei Qar and file a lawsuit against it plus calling in the police chief of Thei Qar for his honoring to the channel amongst other channels working in the city.”
But the vice president did not show any evidence of what he was saying.
The Journalistic Freedoms Observatory expresses deep regret over the illegal action of the Council of Thei Qar governorate and consider it as a violation of the norms of democratic practice in the new Iraq, and calls on the Council to reverse its decision to close the office of Al-Baghdadeya channel in the province because it is considered as a violation for the Iraqi laws and Constitution, and it is a new policy to restrict on media freedom.