Iraqi Minister Threatens Arrest for Journalists Who Incite Violence

February 28th, 2006 12:28 AM
After exaggerating the deaths at the Al Askariya "Golden Mosques" and the violence after it, Iraqi Defense Minister Saadun Al Dulaimi says journalists and newspapers that incite violence will be arrested or suspended, respectively.

"This is a warning to media working in Iraq."

Agence France-Presse reports that Dulaimi gave the actual statistics for the violence in recent days that many in the media claimed would cause a "civil war."

"After verification on the ground, 119 civilians were killed since Wednesday, not 183 as reported in the media," he said. "The government calls on them (media) to assume full responsibility and play a role in reinforcing unity and to reject anything promoting violence or sedition," he said.

"We will take disciplinary action against any publication inciting violence or terrorism and its journalists will be arrested."

Dulaimi said that only one mosque had been completely destroyed in the violence and six partially damaged, while one was temporarily occupied and 21 others were lightly damaged.