The Supreme Judicial Council announced that Iraq, with the largest share of representation among countries in the region, has joined the Council of Judges for Freedom of Expression in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Judge of the Publishing and Media Court in Karkh, Amer Hassan, said in a statement to the National Iraqi News Agency /NINA: ‘Part of the efforts of the Supreme Judicial Council in protecting freedom of expression of opinion is opening horizons for cooperation and communication with international organizations concerned with freedom of expression, most notably UNESCO.

He added: “We entered into a long-term program with UNESCO to train the relevant judges on the latest international standards adopted to protect freedom of expression. Iraq also joined with the largest share among countries in the region, represented by the membership of 38 judges to the Council of Judges for Freedom of Expression of Opinion in UNESCO.”

He explained, “The next stage wi
ll witness the continuation of executive procedures to form the council and carry out its judicial and legal work,” stressing that “the Supreme Judicial Council is interested in communicating with all parties concerned with freedom of expression of opinion, whether they include official or international institutions or civil organizations.”

Regarding the role of the Supreme Judicial Council in considering cases raised against journalists and the Council’s experience in protecting expression, the judge said: ‘Publishing and media courts were formed and we have 16 publishing and media courts in 16 appeals regions, except for the Kurdistan region, and they are concerned with investigating cases raised against journalists.’

He explained, ‘These courts have created a clear mechanism to deal with these cases, represented by the election of experts, whether from the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate, media colleges, or experts in the field of publishing and media, and they have experience and professionalism in that. Th
ey can be delegated by this court to deal with those cases.

Source: National Iraqi News Agency