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IraqSide:Developments
Magazine Staff Permitted to Enter Parliament
Al-Samara'i Lifts Ban after Access Blocked Nine Months Ago over Cartoons
06/22/2009 5:47 PM ET
The cartoon that prompted Iraqi MPs to ban a magazine from its halls. The figure on the right resembling the Statue of Liberty holds a tablet reading Democracy and Freedoms. The figure on the left holds a tablet reading Terrorism and female suiciders.
Al-Usbu'ia.
The cartoon that prompted Iraqi MPs to ban a magazine from its halls. The figure on the right resembling the Statue of Liberty holds a tablet reading "Democracy and Freedoms." The figure on the left holds a tablet reading "Terrorism and female suiciders."

A magazine whose correspondents were banned from entering the Iraqi Parliament building after it published a cartoons deemed to be offensive to Muslims has said that the president of Parliament has reversed the ban after nine months.

In a statement issued on its website in Arabic, the Iraqi press freedoms watchdog organization the Journalistic Freedom Observatory (JFO) writes that it "welcomes the “decision of the president of Dr. Iyad al-Samara’i the president of the Parliament to permit the al-Usbui’a magazine to enter the parliament after forbidding them for entering after nearly 9 months.

Mustafa al-Kadhimi, the head of the administrative committee at al-Usbui'a told JFO that the presidency of the Parliament issued an order allowing the magazine staff to enter the Parliament building.

Al-Kadhimi told the JFO that the decision was issued Monday, nine months after the order issued by the Parliamentary administration blocking the magazine’s staff from entering the Green Zone building.

The decision to deny the magazine access to the building came after al-Usbui'a published a cartoon showing a woman wearing the Islamic headscarf next to a depiction of the Statue of Liberty last September. The Parliament administration banned the magazine staff on the allegations that the cartoon defamed Muslim women.

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