Iraq: Nine TV networks face suspension over protest coverage

Iraqi authorities plan to suspend for three months nine satellite TV channels and have issued alerts to five others, authorities announced on Saturday. The outlets are reportedly accused of violating media regulations in their coverage of the ongoing protests in the country. NRT Kurdish, Alhurra Iraq, Al Sharqiya, Al-Hadath, ANB TV, Dijlah TV, Al Fallujah TV, Hona Baghdad Satellite Channel and... Еще Al Rasheed TV are due to be suspended by the Communications and Media Commission (CMC). The decision awaits implementation by the Iraqi Interior Ministry. Footage filmed on Sunday in Baghdad shows the headquarters of Al Forat Network and NRT TV networks. Al-Harith Mohammed, correspondent for Al Forat Network, said that the CMC «makes such decisions to punish media institutions,» and that they should consider «the fate of hundreds of staff and journalists, who I believe will be laid off if these institutions are closed.» A journalist from the Iraqi Media Network said that it is «easy» for the CMC to stop institutions «criticising any political figure.» Massive anti-government protests have gripped the country since October 1, when demonstrators filled the streets, denouncing high levels of unemployment, widespread corruption and a lack of basic services.

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