Restricting journalism and freedom of the press deprives people from their most important resource: knowledge. When the public is unable to access valuable information, it obstructs their ability to learn and weakens nations as a whole. It is in the interest of all leaders and governments around the world to ensure an entirely free press in order to ensure future prosperity. When the press is respected, democracy flourishes. When governments are transparent, their populations thrive.
Iraq has proven to be an extremely hostile ground for journalists. Freedom of information is restricted, and the very lives of journalists themselves are constantly threatened. Iraq suffered one of the highest death tolls in 2016 with 11 journalists losing their lives according to the International News Safety Institute. To make matters worse, those responsible for such attacks have rarely been brought to justice. Journalists take great risks to tell the stories that make our world, and we owe it to them to protect their efforts with the utmost respect. The Iraq Foundation urges the international community and governments everywhere, not just in Iraq, to do all they can to protect these most sacred liberties and the individuals who devote their lives to a cause greater than themselves.