No peace for journalists in Iraq

December 28, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

Karim Kadim/AP



Rafah Al Saad

I am calling for the freedom of the Iraqi journalist Afrah Shawqi al-Qaisi.

If you want to live in Iraq you have to close your eyes and shut your mouth. What you have to do is praise and cheer for the political officials and government military security forces and “the popular crowd”, Hashed Al-Shaabi forces if you want to live in peace, and that does not mean you are safe from the exploding cars or any human bombs, you are not even safe from what they call “unknown people”. But if you are a journalist it’s a big problem, because you are the person who seeks facts, truths and publishes it. A journalist who is looking into abuses against people said that the media is the fourth authority in the country.

In Iraq it’s different, you cannot write or publish what you want even if they allow you to, as the punishment will wait for you later, even after a number of years. If you want to be a “good journalist”, close your eyes, do not write anything related to the political parties or any abuse against human corruption, or any human cases, just the press release or official statement. What happened to Afrah Shawqi shows how easy it is to kidnap a journalist or kill them after they write an article or report.

Afrah’s story, according to her 12 year old son Younis, was that more than 15 gunmen entered her home in Baghdad then took her and stole her money and some jewellery. We have to remember that before this event Afrah wrote an article on the Aklaam website and talked about an officer working in the Ministry of Interior who had assaulted the school director because of his daughter who had a problem with her classmates. Then her father “the officer” asked the school manager to expel the students but when the director refused, he assaulted her, as well as insulting and verbally abusing her; this is what Afrah revealed.


As things stand, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has ordered security forces to “exert the utmost effort” to save Afrah.

According to NGO Human Rights Watch a number of journalists have been killed in Iraq, stating there are different factions responsible for the deaths in Iraq, forces killing journalists who write against them, as well as the Shiite militias and ISIS troops who executed 17  journalists in the last year alone.









Rafah Al Saad - Tuck Magazine

Rafah Al Saad

Rafah Al Saad is a a Senior Writer/Reporter at the Al Arabiya News Channel, MBC Group.


No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.