Iraq has suspended Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya TV and its sister network Al Hadath and banned them from operating in the country, Al Arabiya has announced.
Citing an Iraqi government statement, Al Arabiya said that the networks were suspended for “not having a licence.”
At least 67 people were killed and hundreds more wounded in protests over the weekend that resulted in clashes with Iraqi security forces and allied militia groups.
The suspension of Al Arabiya’s license comes just weeks after it reported that armed, masked gunmen stormed its offices in Baghdad, along with those of Al-Hadath, Iraq’s NRT Arabic and Jordan’s Dijlah TV.
According to the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the gunmen – dressed in black uniforms – destroyed equipment and assaulting staff members.
Following the incident, Al Arabiya posted CCTV footage of the raid that shows the gunmen arriving in SUVs with guns drawn before entering the offices and smashing computers and taking away various items.