Press in court , a non ending show in Arab countries.

Alaa Kamal
7/11/2009

Confrontation is raging everywhere in the Arab region between the authorities wishing to muzzle the press and turn it into a mouthpiece of those regimes and between the press wishing for better society and to expose corruption and criticize regimes that only act for their own interests.
Criticism is not welcomed of course by those which sometimes use violence, or judiciary.
Blogs have already reported on dozens of cases against the press, aiming to limit freedom of opinion and expression, these cases have become so frequent nearly turning into something common not the least surprising.
This week, both said the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, (an independent organization based in Baghdad aims to defend journalists and press freedom and working in partnership with RSF) the National Iraqi News Agency, and the Voice of Iraq that the syndicate leader of Anbar and the editor of "Al Jazeera" is a weekly will be presented to court on 24/11/20099 on a defamation case filed against him by a local official , as his paper criticized the governor and the Council of Anbar province and pointed to the poor service in the city.
"Al Jazeera" whose editor is Ahmed Rashed syndicate leader of alAnbar’s, has published an article last week, by Moayad AlDulaimi, in which he criticized the provincial council and governor because of the poor services, "disgraceful and has not undergone any improvement at all".
Prompting Qasim AlFahdawi governor of Anbar province to the establishment of a lawsuit in a court of Anbar against the newspaper's editor Ahmed Rashid, demanding payment of large sum of money as compensation to him. The governor of Anbar Qasim Al Fahdawy filed a lawsuit against Al-Jazeera in Ramadi court claiming a compensation of $ (100) million dinars for what Dulaimi wrote regarding the provincial administration giving a negative image.
Rashid said that "Moayad AlLami, the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate stated the union's solidarity with Al-Jazeera journalists and the union is following on closely expressing refusal of the decision of the Governor of Anbar, calling for the freedom of expression. He said that journalists Anbar confirmed their solidarity with Al-Jazeera, which is published in Ramadi and against any provocative decision to gag mouths . Government Failures must be exposed , and he added that the role of media is auditory regulatory for officials and to show the truth to the citizen.
Ahmed Rashid declared to the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, that the governor Qasim Fahdawi and the provincial council are using lawsuits " to intimidate journalists," because the claimed substantial compensation of up to 100 million Iraqi dinars are beyond the capacity of any journalist . Therefore it is a weapon to deter journalists from criticizing them. He said that this lawsuit has a clear attempt to "muzzle mouths", and the governor has to prove that the city's services are in a better status than that in the article. He added that the freedom of the press in Anbar, is subjected to repression in an unprecedented way and that this lawsuit is a proof . The adult "Despite this persecution, we will continue our mission to serve the citizens .. whatever it takes. He accused the governor of trying to muzzle mouths releases and pre-empt the role of media, calling the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate and the media and activists for support.
The Journalistic Freedoms Observatory strongly condemned the pressure from local officials against journalists and media institutions in Anbar, and Anbar governor, the Observatory has called Qasim Fahdawi to respect the freedom of the press and expression and to withdraw the case brought against the newspaper .
They urged him not use measure of intimidation against the independent press being a core component of democracy in the country.
The Observatory asked him to pave the way before journalists to be a real supervisory authority in society The Observatory considers that exposing journalists to threat of imprisonment or trial because of their writings represents a serious blow to press freedom in Iraq and gives a bad image of local governments . reporters must be able to carry on with their work without interference from authorities.