The US-backed Al Hurra news channel announced that it will be closing its offices in Baghdad following threats made against its journalists.
The US-backed Al Hurra news channel has closed its offices in Baghdad following threats made against its journalists, the channel’s authorities said on Tuesday (January 14).
Al Hurra is part of the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN), a non-profit corporation financed by the US government.
“MBN remains committed to reporting ‘the truth first’ and maintaining and strengthening the Al Hurra-Iraq television network, Sawa Radio-Iraq, and MBN’s digital coverage of Iraq, upon which our audience has come to rely,” MBN president ambassador Alberto Fernandez said in a statement.
Director of Communications for Middle East Broadcasting Networks Deirdre Kline said MBN was forced to take the “necessary measures unilaterally” after the Iraqi government was unable to provide security to journalists.
“It’s known that some militia leaders such as Qais Al Khazali have issued documented threats against Al Hurra,” Kline added.
The network said it would review its field operations in Baghdad after the security situation improves in the capital.
Iraq ranks 156 out of 180 on Reporters Without Borders 2019 World Press Freedom Index.
The Iraqi National Union of Journalists released its report about violations carried out against journalists in Iraq, saying dozens of journalists had received serious threats and faced great risk because of their work.