President Salih: CMC Suspension of Reuters "Regretable"

By John Lee.

Reuters has confirmed that Iraq's media regulator has suspended its licence after the news agency published a story saying the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country was higher than officially reported.

The Communications and Media Commission (CMC) said it was revoking the licence for three months and imposing a fine of 25 million dinars ($21,000) for what it said was the agency's violation of the rules of media broadcasting.

Reuters said it stood by the story.

In an interview, Iraqi President Barham Salih told CNN's Christiane Amanpour that he regarded the CMC's decision as "regretable", but added that "the Reuters report ... implied a deliberate falsification of records by the government. WHO and the United Nations agencies [said] that was absolutely not the case."

He said:

"I'm working together with our legal team in order to revoke that and manage the situation. I agree with you. This is not conducive to what we want to be, a transparent environment."

(Sources: Reuters, CNN)

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