Still dangerous for journalists
Journalists are often the victims of armed attacks, arrests or intimidation by pro-government and even government militias in all parts of the country. Murders of journalists go unpunished and, if investigations are opened, they produce no result, according to the families of the victims. Iraq still has no law on access to state-held information. Investigative reporting on corruption or embezzlement exposes journalists to serious threats. Internet access was cut during a wave of protests in July 2018 that were violently suppressed. Journalists have to work in a very politicized environment in which the media are regarded above all as political tools. In November 2018, the newly-elected authorities warned the media against showing disrespect for “national or religious symbols.” Journalists were also worried by a proposed cyber-crime law providing for prison sentences (including life imprisonment) for online posts that endanger “the independence, unity or integrity of the country, or its economic, political, military or security interests.” The vagueness of this wording was alarming and liable to discourage the emergence of a really free and independent press.
160 in 2018
56.56 in 2018