Al-Jazeera TV banned in Iraq for inciting sectarian violence
The Iraqi Communication and Media Commission said in a statement that the satellite channels had “exaggerated things, given misinformation and called for breaking the law and attacking Iraqi security forces”.
The watchdog complained of a “sectarian tone” in the TV coverage and said “undisciplined media messages exceeded all reasonable limits” and threatened to “jeopardise the democratic process”.
BBC Baghdad correspondent Rafid Jaboori says most of the 10 channels are Sunni-owned while Qatar-based al-Jazeera is perceived as more pro-Sunni in its Arabic-language reporting in Iraq.
The head of al-Jazeera’s Baghdad bureau, Omar Abul-ilah, told BBC News that it was not yet clear whether or not the suspension covered its English-language operations as well as its Arabic programming.
The director of Baghdad TV, which is owned by the Iraqi Islamic party, told the BBC that he was waiting to hear from the authorities what action would be taken.
Several people were killed on Friday in bomb attacks on two Sunni mosques in Baghdad. On Saturday, another 10 people, including five soldiers, were killed by gunmen close to the main Sunni protest camp west of the capital.
On Saturday, Mr Maliki appeared to blame the conflict in Syria for the surge in sectarianism as he warned of strife “knocking on the doors of everyone”.
UN envoy Martin Kobler has also called for restraint, describing Iraq as “at a crossroads”.
Backslide back into autocracy.
It should also be noted that Maliki is most sectarian of the bunch, after he attempted to purge the Iraqi government of Sunnis.