Iraq - Journalists union raided (2012)

In January, security forces stormed the head office of the Writers Union for the second time in less than two months. The first time the union was raided was in December 2010 under the pretext that the union’s social club sold alcohol, which was perceived by the head of Baghdad’s council as ‘un-Islamic’. However, no reason was given for the second raid on 17 January.

On 17 February, the Writers Union social club was officially reopened by officials despite threats from Baghdad council to close it once more. The Prime Minister’s Representatives said Baghdad Council’s decision to close the social club are unconstitutional According to reports, over 160 violations were committed against media workers in the two weeks after and around the major demonstration on 25 February while a local press freedom group Metro Centre stated that in the spring more than 150 Iraqi Kurdish journalists had been injured or attacked. In September, Al-Mahdi, a radio show host and critic of the government, was shot dead in his home in Baghdad.

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