News

Together to protect journalists in Iraq

27/10/2019
, Iraq

The media worker Nargis al-Rubaie found herself in a security-restricted area on October 7. She was unable to reach her neighborhood due to hearing cases of snipers firing at civilians, she was feeling worried and frightened until a colleague informed her by phone about the 5555 hotline. She immediately called and notified the authorities and successfully managed to gain access through the checkpoint.

This hotline for journalists was established by UNESCO Iraq with the Ministry of Interior, with funding from the Dutch government, as part of the project Breaking the silence: enhancing public accountability on freedom of expression and the safety of journalists in Iraq. Partners include the Communication Media Commission and the Iraqi National Committee to Protect Journalists and Combat Impunity.

Ghazwan al-Issawi, Director of Darabeen news agency, was harassed in Najaf during the October 7 demonstrations; he informed 5555 about the problem he’s facing, the authorities’ response was very quick. "I was in a state of hysteria and fear and I was standing with my press equipment besieged by a military force, then I remembered the hotline and called, the problem was solved with ease."

UNESCO Iraq Office is building the capacity of the investigative unit for journalists' cases at the Ministry of Interior, as part of the procedures that form the mechanism of protecting journalists and combating impunity in Iraq, including the hotline 5555.