The Iraqi government has suspended the offices of the U.S.-sponsored al-Hurra TV channel for three months over a program about alleged corruption among Sunni and Shiite religious clerics.
A statement by Iraqi Communications and Media Commission (CMC) said that “the CMC Board of Trustees decided to suspend the work of al-Hurra TV’s offices in Iraq for three months and suspend its activities until it re-corrects its attitude towards dealing with Iraqi affairs.”
The CMC called on al-Hurra to “broadcast an official apology from its administration office in Iraq for the program’s disdain and insult to the symbols and personalities of religious institution that have damaged their reputation in the hearts of Iraqis,” the statement said.
The CMC demanded the channel’s offices across Iraq to abide by the list of rules of media broadcasting, and that its reports should not breach the rules when dealing with the Iraqi affairs, the statement added.
It said that the program, which included corruption in the religious institution in Iraq, “has provoked angry reactions on both official and popular levels, as it has affected an institution that is highly respected and appreciated by the Iraqi people.”
On Aug. 31, al-Hurra TV broadcast a program which included testimonies of civil activists and Iraqi citizens about the existence of administrative and financial corruption in a number of religious institutions and personalities in the country.
The CMC is a government body that regulates the work of the country’s media and grants media licenses to local and international media organizations.
Al-Hurra, which began broadcasting in 2004, is a U.S.-sponsored satellite channel that broadcasts news and current affairs programming to audiences in the Middle East and North Africa.