Iraqi journalist banned from covering the opening of the Iraqi Museum

Al Hurra reporter Ahmad Aram said last night that he and other Iraqi reporters were not allowed to enter the Iraqi Museum during the opening ceremony which took place yesterday. He also alleges that Iraqi security forces hit the Hurra cameraman who was with him – oddly the quote about his cameraman being hit is only in the Arabic version of the statement issued by the Baghdad based Journalistic Freedoms Observatory. (JFO’s statement on ban in English)

Aram says while they and the other Iraqi reporter held invitations to the event from the ministry of cultural affairs the only Iraqi journalists allowed in were those covering the event for the state funded Al-Iraqiya Television. Favouritims? well, it won’t be the first time. And al-Maliki’s government has been known to keep those it doesn’t like away. But this was basically a PR event for his government so why would you want to keep Iraqi journos away from it.. unless it’s really just directed at those abroad, but that’s just cynical me talking.