George Bush has continually claimed the United States invaded Iraq in order to bring the benefits of democracy, but present day Iraq continues to abuse the rights of women, and in a recent case, the right of freedom of the press. Reporters Without Borders, which protects journalism freedom, has called for the release of a freelance journalist who was jailed in northern Iraq for the crime of writing a story about homosexuality. Abdel Hussein was sentenced on November 24 to six months in jail and ordered to pay a $165 fine for writing an article that discusses the meaning of homosexuality. The international monitoring group stated it was “astonished to learn that a press case has been tried under a criminal code. What was the point of adopting– and then liberalising — a press code in the Kurdistan region if people who contribute to the news media are still being tried under more repressive laws?”
The reporter was tried under provisions of a 1969 penal code. The present law requires a representative of the journalist organization must attend trials involving journalists, but none was allowed in the court.
Such is life in “free Iraq” which celebrates democracy.