Iraq – Iraq falls dramatically in press freedom index
Location: Baghdad, Iraq
Restriction: A24 clients
Iraq’s press freedom ranking fell dramatically to 172 out of 180 countries this year, according to the 2022 World Press Freedom Index (WPFI) published by global media watchdog Reporters without Borders (RFS), in a steady decrease since 2019. Journalism in the country has been facing great hardships for years as security and political situation hampers the ability of journalists to do their work, tries to silence them, and threatens their lives. Some Iraqi laws also do not provide protection to journalists and reporters, which exacerbates their suffering.
Soundbite (Nibras Al-Mamouri – Iraqi journalist):
“Iraq’s current situation (of press) is deteriorating in terms of at the level of institutions, law enforcement, and government, which led to the fall in (press freedom index). The government failed to implement laws protecting rights such as freedom of expression, under the pretext of serving public interest. Press freedom depends on policies that the current government or the next one will adopt in accordance with the constitution and international treaties.”
Soundbite (Vian Sheikh – Journalist and Activist):
“The situation of press freedom is similar to the situation in other regional countries and it is even more restrictive. Restrictions in Iraq are imposed not only by the government but also by armed groups, tribal leaders.”