You are here

Iraq TV staff accused of ‘inciting terrorism’

By AFP - Jun 12,2014 - Last updated at Jun 12,2014

AMMAN — The State Security Court has accused a group of journalists of carrying out illegal acts after closing an Amman-based television channel critical of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki, a judicial official said.

“State Security Court prosecutors charged the owner and 13 journalists of Al-Abasiya satellite station with using the Internet to carry out acts that would expose Jordanians to acts of aggression,” the official told AFP, without elaborating.

The suspects face up to five years in prison if convicted of the charges, filed under the Anti-Terrorism Law.

On Monday, authorities raided the station and arrested Iraqi, Jordanian and Syrian journalists, after Baghdad accused it of “inciting terrorism and sectarian conflicts”, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Wednesday, urging their immediate release.

Al-Abasiya, which began broadcasting from Amman four years ago, “has been critical of both the Maliki administration and Iran’s alleged meddling in the region”, it added.

It was not disclosed what the station had broadcast that was considered to be offensive to Iraq, or dangerous to Jordan.

Audiovisual Commission Director General Amjad Qadi has told AFP that Al-Abasiya was broadcasting illegally from Amman, without a licence.

“It worked secretly from an apartment in Amman and broadcast only after midnight. When the authorities raided the apartment, they found things that have nothing to do with the media,” Qadi said, without elaborating. 

He added the case was sent to the State Security Court because “Al-Abasiya was inciting terrorism and affecting Jordan and other countries.”

RSF said Iraqi authorities had initiated legal action against several other Iraqi satellite television stations for allegedly inciting violence and sectarianism in their broadcasts from Jordan.

80 users have voted.


Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.