Iraq suspends 2 Saudi channels over protests

BAGHDAD

Iraq’s government on Sunday ordered two Saudi channels to suspend operations amid mass protests in the country. 

Iraqi police asked reporters of the Al-Arabiya and Al-Hadath channels to suspend any press activity, using the lack of license as a pretext, Al-Arabiya said on its website.

The Iraqi government has yet to confirm the suspension.

Baghdad and other Iraqi provinces have faced a second wave of demonstrations since Friday against government corruption, unemployment, and a lack of basic services.

At least 63 people have been killed and more than 2,500 others injured during the demonstrations, according to Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights.

Discontent has been growing in Iraq in recent years due to rising unemployment and rampant corruption. Many in the country have limited access to basic services such as electricity and clean water.

According to World Bank figures, Iraq’s youth unemployment is around 25%. It is also ranked the 12th most-corrupt country in the world by several transparency organizations.

*Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara
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