DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The Al Jazeera Media Network says Iraqi authorities have shut down their bureau in Baghdad and banned its journalists from reporting in the country.
A statement posted on Al Jazeera's website says the Iraqi Communications and Media Commission informed them in a letter Wednesday that it was withdrawing the media network's license to operate in the country due to "violations of the official codes of conduct."
The network, which broadcasts in English and Arabic, says it is "shocked and bewildered" by the decision and denies it has committed any violations in its news coverage.
The International Federation of Journalists criticized the move to suspend the Qatar-based network's operations as "biased." It says Iraq's 2014 guidelines for media coverage of its "war on terror" place arbitrary restrictions on the press.