Iraqi government orders ban of official Kurdish news outlet

Iraqi government orders ban of official Kurdish news outlet
A decree has been issued by the Iraqi government to shut down Kurdish media network Rudaw, which is closely aligned to the Erbil-based KRG authority.
2 min read
28 October, 2017
Rudaw is based in the Kurdish city of Erbil [Anadolu]
Kurdish news outlet Rudaw has been ordered to close by Baghdad's government, according to a statement from the outlet's website.

The office of audiovisual media of the Iraqi government's media and communications commission issued a decree on 23 October, which ordered the shutdown of Rudaw "without any prior warning or complaint".

It also demandeed that Rudaw staff stop working, and the seizure of their equipment across Iraq by authorities.

Rudaw is managed by the the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and is licensed by the Iraqi-Kurdish ministry of culture.

"The decree says that grounds for this move is that Rudaw is not licensed by their commission, and for broadcasting some programs 'That incite violence and hate and target social peace and security.' Rudaw was never served this letter officially", the outlet said in a statement.

"This decision by Iraq's media and communications Commission is a political decision", the statement added.

"It's against freedom of press and contradicts a government that calls itself democratic and committed to the constitution. Iraq's constitution guarantees freedom of press in Iraq and does not allow the closure of any media."

The news outlet has called on the international community, along with the interference of press freedom groups to pressure Baghdad to reverse their decision.