BAGHDAD (BNO NEWS) — The Journalistic Freedoms Observatory (JFO) condemned on Wednesday the 160 attacks against journalists and media institutions that have occurred over the past two weeks throughout Iraq, including Kurdistan.
“According to statistics of the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory & the Metro Center, the number of attacks on journalists all over Iraq amount to more than 160 cases, including about 60 violations in the Kurdistan region alone,” the JFO said in a statement.
“The current tally shows that 33 reporters have been subjected to arrest and detention. There have been 40 instances of obstructing the constitutionally protected work of journalists and confiscation or damaging of equipment. Another 12 journalists have been injured by being beaten by riot police or other security forces or by sound bombs shot into crowds as a way of dispersing them. Nine media organizations have been raided, searched and closed by security forces, only 5 of which were later permitted to start operations back up,” the statement added.
On February 23, a dozen gunmen belonging to private security forces burst into the Baghdad headquarters of the JFO and took four laptops, three hard disks, two cameras, two video cameras, walkie-talkies and 10 bulletproof jackets marked Press. They also took all of the organization’s archives, which included information obtained since 2004, before vandalizing the entire office and leaving.