Alsumaria TV station
Journalistic Freedoms Observatory (JFO) reports that the Communications and Media Commission’s (CMC) act against the independence of Alsumaria TV station. The Observatory
expressed surprise at the commission which gave itself legal powers "to impose its ethical vision on the viewers of an independent satellite channel and its threat to implement sanctions on the channel and close it down, suspend its license or stop its work in Iraq."
CMC published an official statement on its website warning the Alsumaria station of continuing to broadcast two of its programmes: “… otherwise the CMC will have to take harsher sanctions, which may lead to suspending the station’s license and stop its working in Iraq.”
One of the two TV shows in question is broadcast every Sunday. It is a comedy programme which enjoys wide popularity for its joking banter and quaint news. CMC claims that this show is taking lightly the nationalism and ethnic diversity which constitute Iraqi society, in addition to using "obscene words and sexual innuendo" for which they claim to have received many complaints.
The second programme is also broadcast weekly and addresses issues which all media should address such as social, political, artistic and sports issues. CMC argues that the show introduces "religious topics that may cause disagreement between sects and religions that are coexisting in peace."
A source from Alsumaria speaking to JFO said that they feel the station has been singled out and were not clear as to the real motives behind the threatened closure, so they decided to hand over the issue to the judiciary to resolve. The source added that the station would not deviate from its style which it had adopted from the beginning which is based on "independence and professionalism and well away from partisan and regional trends" according to his words.
Journalistic Freedoms Observatory (JFO) is an independent organization based in Baghdad that monitors and defends Media, Journalists & Expression freedoms, and works in cooperation with Reporters without Borders (RSF)