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12Cairo: 19 June, 2014

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) today denounced the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s threat to close “Al-Arabyia” and “Al-Arabiya Al Hadath” channels, days after the Ministry of Communications of Iraq (MoC) had issued its decree to block social networking sites; “Facebook”, “Twitter”, and  ”WhatsUp” Application top them.

Ministry of Communications of Iraq (MoC) ordered to block social networking sites in all parts of Iraq and in particular the social networks, such as “Facebook” and “Twitter” along with “WhatsUp” and” Viper” Applications.  Afterwards, “Al-Arabyia Net” channel announced that Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had threatened to close “Al-Arabyia” and “Al-Arabiya Al Hadath” TV’s offices in Baghdad, and suspend their reporters from doing their work in Iraq.

“Blocking social networking sites in Iraq deems a flagrant violation of freedom of opinion and expression; especially that it is guaranteed by the Iraqi Constitution. Such a matter indicates that Iraqi authorities adopt a repressive attitude”, ANHRI said.

The Arabic Network calls upon Iraqi government to overturn its decision to block the social networks, and to withdraw its threat against the channel.  Such strict measures are not only regarded as a violation of freedom of opinion and media, rather they are considered an assault on citizens’ right to know and access information.

Source :Arabic Network for Human Rights Informatio