Iraq suspends Reuters for three months over report on Covid-19 cases

Iraq has suspended the license of the Reuters news agency after publishing an article saying that the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country was higher than what had been officially announced.

Iraqi media regulator said he revoked Reuters’ license for three months and fined him 25 million dinars ($ 21,000) for what he called the agency’s violation of broadcast rules media.

In a letter to Reuters, the Media and Communications Commission (CMC) said it had taken this action “because this matter is taking place under current circumstances which have serious repercussions on the health and safety of society”.

Reuters said it regretted the decision of the Iraqi authorities and stood by the story, which it said was based on multiple well-placed medical and political sources and fully represented the position of the Iraqi ministry of health.

“We are trying to resolve the problem and we are trying to continue to spread reliable information about Iraq,” the news agency said in a statement.

The Reuters report, released on April 2, cited three doctors involved in the testing process, a health ministry official and a senior political official claiming that Iraq had thousands of confirmed people. Covid-19, many times more than the 772 he had made public at the time.

The report was updated on April 2 to include a denial from a spokesperson for the health ministry, sent by text, which rejected sources’ claims about the spread of the disease, calling it “information.” incorrect “.

In addition to the three-month suspension, Reuters has been ordered to issue an official apology.

As of April 13, Iraq has recorded 1,378 cases of COVID-19, including 78 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.