MCMD has observed an increase in the provocative hatred and racial discourse in the period from the 25th of September till the 25th of October 2017. Percentages indicate an increase from 37 messages inciting hate before the given period of time, to 176 ones in it. These messages are related to the referendum of separation conducted in Kurdistan region, and the subsequent reaction of control of federal government on Kirkuk.
In this context, MCMD asserts how important it is for politicians and journalists to avoid the speeches of hate, racism and provocative speeches which are deemed a violation to the national and international laws which consider them as crimes that are not subject to statute of limitation.
MCMD also asserts the importance of the role of every journalist, civil activist and politician in confronting the hate speeches, stop promoting such speeches, and spreading the spirit of coexistence and civil peace in the period of restring trust in the post- ISIS stage.
In this regard, the international standards clearly stated that discourses of racism and hate, and provocative speeches are banned in articles 19 and 20 of the UN International Convent on civil and political rights. Article 19 , paragraph 2 states that ” everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers” but the aforementioned convent limited that right in paragraph 3 of the same article which states that: “The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities” which are the respect of the rights or reputations of others, and the protection of national security or of public order.
As for Article 20, it banned any propaganda for war, hatred or racism as stated in the said article:
- Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law.
- Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.
MCMD warns both the Journalists’ Syndicate and Commission for Media and Communication (CMC) and urges them to assume a legal, moral and professional responsibility in regulating and limiting the platforms promoting hatred in Iraqi media. We call upon CMC to take preventive measures against hatred promoters, and producers of provocative discourse as soon as possible as they threaten society with more fragmentation, spreading political, psychological and social instability for individuals and groups alike.
MCMD also calls upon Iraqi Council of Representative (CoR) to take a decisive stand against MPs who participate in promoting hatred speeches, at the same time, CoR is responsible for providing protection to Peacemakers and safeguarding the religious, ethnic and linguistic diversity which forms the permanent wealth of the country.