IRAQ FACES CRITICISM ON PRESS FREEDOMS

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BAGHDAD: From unsolved murders of journalists to lawsuits against commentators, rights groups and diplomats say Iraq’s press freedom record falls dramatically short of international standards. Reporters, photographers and videojournalists face threats and pressures from both militants and the security forces, as well as mundane everyday restrictions. In a statement marking Saturday’s World Press Freedom Day, the United Nations’ culture and media body voiced “deep concern” over the situation in Iraq. The authorities insist that any regulations are for public safety and note that Iraqi journalists have more freedom than before 2003, when now-executed dictator Saddam Hussein crushed all dissent. At least 100 journalists and media workers have been killed over the past decade, according to the New York City-based Committee to Protect Journalists, with Iraq ranking atop the CPJ Impunity Index, which tracks unsolved murders of media workers, since 2008.

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AFP

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