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Charges Against News Site "Will Be Withdrawn"
NNN: Dhi Qar Authorities Will Apologize for Legal Action over Report
06/26/2009 09:04 AM ET

The head of the Dhi Qar provincial branch of the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate has told NNN that local authorities have pledged to work to drop charges brought against the local online news agency and to present an official apology to NNN for the legal action.

On its website, Nasiriya News Net writes in Arabic that Kadhim al-'Ubaydi spoke with the agency on Friday, telling NNN that he and other members of the local journalists’ union met with the director of Nasiriya municipal services, Hasan Da'doush, who confirmed that the local administration “holds journalists in high esteem and respect, especially Nasiriya News Net and those working for it.”

The local official reportedly told al-'Ubaydi that the legal charges, brought recently against NNN after it published citizens’ negative views of the quality of municipal services, were not linked to the municipal administration but were instead brought at the behest of some local officials working in a personal and private capacity, adding that the charges will be withdrawn and an apology presented to the Internet news outlet and the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate.

The charges drew the condemnation of local media activists as well as national media watchdog organizations, as Slogger reported earlier.

Al-'Ubaydi added that he had met with one of the local civil engineering officials who were involved in instigated the charges against NNN. That official Sharif Mutshar, reportedly told the Dhi Qar press syndicate leader that he planned to travel to the local court on Sunday to withdraw the legal charges.

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