Iraq suspended the licenses of 10 channels from satellite television for promoting sectarianism and violence, a senior Iraqi official in at the media watchdog for the government announced. A member of the Communications and Media Commission said on Sunday the government had taken a decision to suspend the ten licenses of the satellite channels that had adopted language that encouraged sectarianism and violence.
The representative said that meant the television channels could no longer work in Iraq and they could not cover any of the events that take place in the country. The CMC said it included on their suspended list Al Jazeera, Al Sharqiyah News, Salah al Din, Babylonian, Anwar 2, Falluhjah, Al Gharbiyah and Baghdad Al Sharqiyah. The channels said the CMC were misleading, provocative and exaggerated with their ultimate objective to disturb the democratic and civil process.
One of the channels, Al Jazeera, released a statement saying they were astonished the government made the decision since they cover all sides of every story in Iraq and have worked that way for a number of years in the country.
This move comes after a large amount of violence took hold on Tuesday with big clashes between Sunni Arab protesters and security forces in the northern region of Iraq that killed over 215 people. This week’s violence was the deadliest in the area linked to demonstrations that have broken out in different Sunni areas in the country that has a Shia-majority, over four months ago.