Saturday, January 25, 2014

What does it mean to be a journalist in Iraq?

What does it mean to be a journalist in Iraq?

It means to be targeted in many ways.  For example, from Dirk Adriaensens' "2013: Another year of slaughter in Iraq claims the lives of at least 21 media professionals" (BRussells Tribunal):

In Iraq, at least 404 media professionals have been killed since the US invasion in 2003, among them 374 Iraqis, according to The BRussells Tribunal statistics. The impunity in Iraq is far worse than anywhere else in the world. None of the journalist murders recorded in Iraq in the past decade has been solved. Not a single case of journalists' killings has been investigated to identify and punish the killers.
Hassan Shaaban, head of the Center for the Legal Protection of Journalists, told Human Rights Watch (HRW) that, "Terrorists are systematically targeting journalists," but that "the government is not protecting people."

And the Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative noted this month, "The Press Freedom Advocacy Association released its annual report for 2013, highlighting the serious deterioration in the working conditions and the safety of journalists in Iraq over the last year. The Association cited 286 cases of violent acts against journalists, including kidnappings and abductions, threats, bullying, beatings, and obstruction of their coverage of events. Twenty-one reporters and journalists were killed; most of these martyrs were specifically targeted because of their work. According to the Association, this is the most serious decline in the situation of journalists since 2007 when widespread civil conflict claimed the lives of thousands of citizens, including journalists."

This week, UNAMI issued their [PDF format warning] latest human rights report on Iraq.  On the media, it explained:

During the reporting period, journalists and other media professionals continued to suffer from acts of violence and intimidation. On 6 May, a hand grenade thrown into a mosque in Baghdad killed Muwaffak 
al-Ani, one of the most prominent radio journalists in Iraq, who had been working for more than 50 years. Five other civilians were killed and 13 injured. On 3 March , in Karbala, an unidentified insurgent group kidnapped a reporter of the Sunni-owned Al-Anbar TV. He was released the following day after having been repeatedly beaten. On 1 April, approximately 50 gunmen in military uniforms burst into the offices of four independent newspapers in Baghdad, Al-Dustoor, Al-Barlaman, Al-Mustaqbal, and Al-Naas, with batons and knives and sma shed computers and furniture. Four journalists of Al-Dustoor were injured as a result of the attack. Although there was no claim of responsibility, it is alleged that a Shi'a militia led the attack. On 20 April, a media reporter of Kirkuk Now news website was arrested by the Iraqi Army after allegedly receiving threats regarding his reporting on the incident in Hawija. The reporter was released six days later without being formally charged. 
On 28 April, the Iraqi Communications and Media Commission (ICMC) announced the withdrawal of the licenses of ten media outlets, including Al-Jazeera, for incitement to sectarian violence. 21  
The ICMC reportedly based its decision on the provisions of the Law on Communications and Media Commission..22    The ICMC Manager of Visual and Audio Regulation Directorate claimed that the suspension was the last resort in order to stop what he claimed were extremist views and speech fostering sectarian divisions, after unsuccessfully attempting to implement a number of alternative measures, including formal correspondence, joint meetings and conferences. 23 However, the ICMC did not produce any evidence supporting the allegations of misconduct by the broadcasters and did not clarify exactly what alternative measures it had taken to address its concerns .

And being a journalist in Iraq means all the above and much more.

Being a journalist in Iraq means this.

That's currently the front page of Al Rafidayn.  The message referred to?

We Don't Hack To Have Fun Sometimes We Need . . 
To Hack To Send A Message To The Gov And . . . .
Especially To The Lammez And To Say To Him We Are Mauritania Hackerz and F**k 
The Lamerz of Iraq That Is Just A Warning Why Hack Our Website
And You Call Your Sefl Muslims
And This Is F**king Real You Just Get F**ked Up
We Hack  ,  Just for Giving a WARNING . . . . . 
Hacking Is Not A Crime  ,   Hacking Is Art
Freedom For Palastin and ALL MUSLIMS

We're a work safe site so I've changed the f-word to "F**k," et al.  In the actual text, the f-word is presented in full.  At the end of the message, they refer you to a website

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