Report: Iraqi Gov't Bans Journalists From Clash Sites

By: The Iraqi government plans to ban journalists from the scene of violent incidents in that country, the Web site Iraqslogger, which monitors news there, reports Sunday.

The full dispatch follows.

In a move sure to provoke open contempt and a firestorm of protests from journalists and news organizations, the Iraqi government will soon routinely ban journalists from the sites of bombings and other violent incidents, Iraqi Interior Ministry Operations Director Brigadier General Abdul Karim Khalaf announced today.

Gen. Khalaf declared: "This decision does not imply a curtailment of press freedom. It is a measure followed all over the world."

He said "There are many reasons for this prohibition," including:

-- To protect journalists from being victims in follow on attacks (insurgents often target first responders).

-- "We do not want evidence disturbed before detectives arrive."

-- "The respect of human rights by not photographing dead bodies who fall by bombings and other incidents."

-- "The Ministry does not want to give terrorists information that they achieved their goals."

The war in Iraq has been the deadliest conflict in recorded history for journalists and media workers.


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