Shafaq News / DW TV host Jaafar Abdul Karim and his team have had to cancel a production planned in Baghdad amid pressure from Iraqi government officials, DW reported.
Abdul Karim and his team left the country at short notice Thursday morning for security reasons. "It is alarming how journalists are being treated in Iraq," said DW Editor-in-Chief Manuela Kasper-Claridge. "The threat to our team and host Jaafar Abdul Karim by forces in Iraq who want to put a stop to free speech is unacceptable. The JaafarTalk show reaches millions of people because DW provides a platform for debates that are important in the region. Despite being forced to cancel this broadcast, we will continue to report on developments in Iraq."
the weekly DW program JaafarTalk tackles topics deemed taboo in the region, including violations of human rights and the lack of equal opportunities for women.
The show was intended to address youth unemployment, political participation and women's rights. The plan was to record the episode in Zawraa Park, Baghdad's highly secured Green Zone. Members of the Iraqi protest movement and government officials were among those scheduled to speak.