Today, Friday, October 8, 2021, the special voting process for members of the military and security institutions in the Ministries of Defense and Interior, in addition to the displaced and prison inmates, was launched, within the framework of the launch of the electoral process in the early parliamentary elections, in Iraq scheduled for Sunday, the tenth of October.
Contacting the coordinator of the Office of the Journalist Support Committee in Iraq (JSC), Salah Al-Zubaidi, many reporters assigned to cover the polling process inside electoral centers they were assigned to by the Electoral Commission. Some confirmed that they have been banned from taking pictures and scenes inside the centers by security officers, despite showing them the ID cards and permits that allow them to enter.
Some attributed these measures to personal jurisprudence from security personnel present in these centers, while others considered that the reason was due to the lack of coordination between the different bodies concerned with organizing the elections.
Al-Zubaidi contacted Mr. Hassan Salman, Director of Media and Mass Communication in the Electoral Commission, who expressed his willingness to promptly contact concerned authorities to facilitate the tasks of reporters inside the centers, which they obtained their own permits to enter.
JSC considers that the electoral process is one of the most important building blocks of democratic life in every modern society that seeks development and progress, and emphasizes the importance of the role of the press in supporting democracy and transparency by adhering to the principles of freedom of speech and expression and the right to freedom of press work and the provision of information and facts to the public and its vital role in activating accountability and transparency before the law.
As such, JSC calls on the Electoral Commission and the bodies concerned with organizing the special voting process today in Iraq to allow journalists and reporters to cover the electoral process in a manner that does not conflict with the general regulations and does not disturb the proper conduct of the democratic electoral process and to secure the necessary facilities for them to carry out their journalistic duties and to secure their safety. It also calls on the Iraqi security and judicial agencies for urgent, immediate and transparent investigations to reveal the circumstances which led to this incidence, to protect the right of community members to access information from its sources and to follow the course of the special election day because of the critical and sensitive importance of the electoral process to the future Iraq as a whole.
Friday, October 8th, 2021