Iraqi authorities urged to reconsider decision to ban TV stations

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Martin Kobler

The authorities responsible for communication and media in Iraq have been urged to reconsider their decision to stop several television stations from broadcasting.

The call has come from the UN mission in the country after Iraqi authorities reportedly suspended the licences of 10 satellite channels because of a rise in sectarian unrest that has killed more than 170 people in less than a week.

According to media reports, Al-Jazeera TV and Sharqiya are among the channels accused of inciting violence.

Martin Nesirky is UN spokesperson in New York.

"The UN Mission in Iraq urged the Communication and Media Commission (CMC)  to reconsider its decision to suspend the licenses of several TV stations in Iraq. The Secretary-General's Special Representative for Iraq, Martin Kobler, said that press freedom is a fundamental pillar of democracy, one that the United Nations takes very seriously. He urged the Commission to fully respect its commitment to press freedom and also urged all media to exercise integrity and professional ethics in their daily work." (29")

The Office of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Iraq has added its voice in urging Iraqi authorities to carefully and quickly revise the decision to ban television stations.

Gerry Adams, United Nations

Duration: 1'22"

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