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Sign the petition to support freedom of the press and freedom of expression in Iraq!
U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice - Rome fully supports and has endorsed the Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative and the "Society for Defending Press Freedom". Please read, circulate and add your name to the international petition.
CAMPAIGN TO SUPPORT FREEDOM OF THE PRESS
Press Release –26th April, 2012
In January 2012, when the Iraqi association “Society for Defending Press Freedom” (SDPF) challenged the journalists’ law in the Federal Supreme Court, the Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative launched an international petition drive to support repeal of the law. SDPF’s case was rejected by the Court under the pretext that the SDPF did not have current registration papers. The SDPF is a long-established and reputable Iraqi organisation. Mr. Uday Hatem, journalist and head of the association, explains that his organisation is registered since 2006 and presented all papers required to update the registration according to the new NGO law but didn’t receive any answer by the NGOs Directorate of the Iraqi Government, thus the AFPF’s freedom of association is being violated.
The journalists Uday Hatem, Jawad al-Khafaji, Mustafa Nasser and Rahima Ahmed are bravely filing the lawsuit today, this time in their personal capacity as Iraqi citizens. Due to the persecution faced by Iraqi journalists who have challenged institutions and powerful politicians, we believe that they are now in a potentially dangerous position. However, they are very concerned about the consequences of this law for Iraqi freedom and democracy, and are determined to continue. We declare our support for the Iraqi Society for Defending Press Freedom in this struggle.
What organizations and journalists can do:
CAMPAIGN TO SUPPORT FREEDOM OF THE PRESS AND
The Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI) urges you to support the lawsuit before the Iraqi Federal Court to abolish the so-called "Journalists’ Rights Law" recently passed by the Iraqi parliament. This law explicitly violates articles 13, 14, 38 and 46 of the Iraqi Constitution, which protect freedom of the press and freedom of expression. The law is incompatible with Iraq's international obligations, under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, both signed by the Iraqi State. It especially fails to respect Article 19 of the Universal Declaration, which says: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
The law also compromises the constitutionally guaranteed principle of equal citizenship, by conferring illegal and illegitimate benefits and privileges on journalists. Moreover it describes the role of the journalist as working to promote the acts of government authorities, thereby totally undermining public confidence in the media.
A lawsuit to repeal the "Journalists’ Rights Law" has been organized by The Society for Defending Press Freedom, an Iraqi Non-governmental Organisation, and is supported by many Iraqi journalists and media activists. We are collecting signatures from supporters both inside and outside of Iraq to present to Mr. Midhat Almahmud, Chairman of the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court, urging him to compel the Iraqi parliament to undertake the procedures necessary to end these violations of the Iraqi Constitution and international law.
Please sign the petition to Mr. Midhat Almahmud at:
اللنك الخاص بالحملة باللغة العربية
Eyes Wide Open Film Series: May 17 - June 14, 2012
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