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Corruption pays; reporting it does not

Two investigative reporters were arrested in Iraq (3rd quartile) in June in connection with investigations into corruption.

Mostafa Hamed was arrested at his home in the middle of the night, and released days later having never been charged. He had been investigating the links between local politicians and a real estate scandal.

Hossam al Kaabi was repeatedly harassed in connection with coverage of an alleged corruption case involving a provincial airport’s former governing board. He had also been the target of dozens of legal actions, but the arrest resulted in his having to pay bail of around $12,000 (USD).

Iraqi law protects the right of journalists to seek information and sources, but a lack of judicial independence, security, and protection means officials can act with impunity against those who investigate them.[1]

 

[1] Reporters without Borders, Covering Corruption Exposes Journalists to Arrest in Iraq, 12 June 2018, available at https://rsf.org/en/news/covering-corruption-exposes-journalists-arrest-iraq

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