SHAFAQNA – The Iraqi Communications and Media Commission has banned the Qatari-owned “Al-Jazeera” news network, citing “violations of the official codes of conduct and broadcasting rules and regulations.” Surprised by the decision, the news network issued a statement on Monday that touched on their ethics and professionalism: “Al Jazeera is committed to its editorial principles in the coverage of current affairs in Iraq. It abides by its code of ethics in its coverage and programming, and by the highest global standards of professionalism, and has been doing so since its launch.”
In the past, Al-Jazeera has been accused by the Syrian and Egyptian governments of purposely reporting false stories and mingling in internal affairs. Middle Eastern journalists accused Al-Jazeera in 2013 of manipulating stories to favor the Qatari-backed Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt; this resulted in the arrest of several journalists. During the Syrian conflict, Al-Jazeera correspondents repeatedly entered Syria illegally and posted false stories to express the opinions of the Qatari regime. Al-Jazeera has also been accused of sectarianism on numerous occasions; this stems from their anti-Shia Muslim narrative. Iraq is the 3rd Arab country to close Al-Jazeera’s offices.