Iraq Bans 10 TV Stations

    Iraqi anti-government gunmen from Sunni tribes in the western Anbar province march during a protest in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, on April 26, 2013. The United Nations warned that Iraq is at a "crossroads" and appealed for restraint, as a bloody four-day wave of violence killed 195 people. The violence is the deadliest so far linked to demonstrations that broke out in Sunni areas of the Shiite-majority country more than four months ago, raising fears of a return to all-out sectarian conflict. AFP PHOTO/AZHAR SHALLAL        (Photo credit should read AZHAR SHALLAL/AFP/Getty Images)

    Azhar Shallal/AFP/Getty,AZHAR SHALLAL

    After a week of violence that killed more than 200 people in Iraq, the government decided to shut down 10 mostly Sunni television channels, including al Jazeera, blaming them for encouraging the sectarian distress that has raged across the country recently. This is not the first time the Iraqi government has censored the media, heightening concerns that the country may be headed for another civil war. “The last two days the killing and sectarian actions happened because of the satellite channels encouraging and pushing them,” an Iraqi government official said, denying that the move was at all politically motivated. At least one reporter has already promised to keep working in the face of the ban saying, “I have been captured many times. It’s familiar for me to be captured.”

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