Iraqi journalist Suadad Al Salhy threatened with arrest over critical reporting

Iraqi journalist Suadad Al Salhy threatened with arrest over critical reporting

On October 22, 2020, an arrest warrant was issued against Iraqi journalist Al Salhy over the charge of “defamation”. MENA Rights Group and Reporters Without Borders believe that the issuance of the warrant is directly linked to her critical reporting. Since 2003, she has regularly faced harassment in connection with her work, including kidnapping and assassination attempts.
Latest Updates
November 18, 2020: MENA Rights Group and Reporters Without Borders request the urgent intervention of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
October 22, 2020: An arrest warrant is issued against Ms Al Salhy over allegations of “defamation”, criminalised under article 433(1) of the Iraqi Penal Code.

Since 1999, Ms Suadad Al Salhy has been covering politics and security in Iraq for several global news organisations. Since January 2020, she has been writing for the Middle East Eye.

In her career, Ms Al Salhy has covered some of the most important stories of the past two decades in the Middle East, including abuses committed by different parties in Iraq. Since 2003, she has been regularly receiving threats from multiple sides and was subjected to attempts of kidnapping and assassination.

On October 22, 2020, an arrest warrant was issued against Ms Al Salhy over allegations of “defamation”, punishable under article 433(1) of the Iraqi Penal Code by detention in combination with a fine, or by one of those penalties. Under this provision, the publication of such “defamation” in a newspaper or publication or other press medium constitutes an aggravating circumstance.

While Ms Al Salhy has previously faced reprisals for her work as a journalist, this is the first time she is subjected to judicial harassment. MENA Rights Group and Reporters Without Borders believe that the warrant issued against her is directly linked to her work as a journalist and her critical reporting.