Government orders closure of radio linked to Moqtada al-Sadr

first_img RSF_en Help by sharing this information IraqMiddle East – North Africa News IraqMiddle East – North Africa Receive email alerts News May 15, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Government orders closure of radio linked to Moqtada al-Sadr December 16, 2020 Find out more News Organisation center_img News Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” February 15, 2021 Find out more to go further Follow the news on Iraq Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” Reporters Without Borders today condemned the unwarranted closure of a privately-owned radio station linked to Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr as fierce clashes continued between the cleric’s militia, the Mahdi Army, and the US and Iraqi armies.Security forces reporting to the interior ministry raided the studios of al-Ahd in the al-Baladiyat district of Baghdad on 8 May and after locking staff out of the station they shut it down “for “incitement to violence”.Pro-Sadr deputies immediately called on the parliamentary commission on culture and the media to open an investigation. Spokesman for the radio, Kassem al-Radini, denied the government’s accusations saying that the radio had always followed “a moderate editorial line”. “It is a purely political decision without any legal basis. We plan to bring a case before the courts,” he told Reporters Without Borders.“The closure of al-Ahd can only come from a decision in the courts after a fair hearing. Must opposition media continue to expect this kind of treatment?” the worldwide press freedom organisation asked. “We urge the prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, to put and end to this unacceptable pressure and re-open this radio station”, it added.The US Army just over a year ago carried out a series of raids and searches of media belonging to the al-Sadr tendency, which, in addition to radio al-Ahd, has a number of publications. Documents were seized. Al-Ahd was launched in 2005 and is financed by the al-Sadr tendency. It employs nearly 75 people across the country. December 28, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more