(BAGHDAD) — A threat by Baghdad to shut down 44 news organizations in the country has passed, at least for the moment.
There were reports that Iraq’s Communications and Media Commission had told the media outlets that they would be subject to raids or closures over licensing issues.
While most are national news organizations, the list also included the Voice of America, the U.S. government-funded Radio Sawa and the BBC.
However, under pressure from the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, an Iraqi press freedom group, the government has rescinded its order.
In a statement, the VOA and Radio Sawa said they would “continue to work with Iraqi authorities to ensure full compliance with any new Iraqi regulations and licenses.”
Meanwhile, the BBC declared that it was important for the broadcast company and other news organizations “to operate freely, and bring independent and impartial news to audiences in Iraq and the wider region.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Evan McKirdy, Tim Hume and James Masters, CNN
Barbie Latza Nadeau, Tim Hume and Vasco Cotovio, CNN
Barbie Latza Nadeau, Livia Borghese and Joshua Berlinger, CNN