The Iraqi Communications and Media Commission has closed Al Jazeera's Baghdad bureau and banned its journalists from reporting in the country, accusing the channel of "inciting sectarianism and violence."
In a letter to Al Jazeera, the CMC explained the decision to withdraw Al Jazeera's license is due to "violations of the official codes of conduct and broadcasting rules and regulations," Al Jazeera reported . The news network responded by assuring that it abides by Iraq's code of ethics and is committed to its editorial principles.
This is not the first time the Qatar-based news channel has raised controversy in and outside the region. Here are six times the channel was banned from broadcasting over the years:
1. Algeria (2004)
The Algerian government froze the activities of Al Jazeera's Algeria correspondent, with the official reason being that a "reorganization" of the work of foreign correspondents was underway. In reality, the decision came after the channel aired a debate program in which an Algerian opposition member strongly criticized the government.
2. Iraq (2004)
In August of 2004, the Iraqi interim government closed Al Jazeera's offices in Baghdad. The Iraqi prime minister accused the channel of "inciting hatred" in the country. After the ban was ignored, Iraqi security officers stormed the Baghdad offices and sealed the newsroom.
3. Egypt (2011)
The Egyptian government ordered the channel to close its offices and arrested six journalists from Al Jazeera. Some people claimed the decision may have been a response to the channel's broadcasting of an interview with cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who called on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to leave the country.
4. Iraq (2013)
The Iraqi government, led by Nouri Al Maliki, ordered Al Jazeera to stop broadcasting due to the alleged role of the channel in "encouraging sectarian unrest." At the time, the government had revoked the operating licenses of nine other satellite TV channels that were also accused of promoting a sectarian agenda.
5. Cairo (2013)
After regularly denouncing Egypt's government, the Qatari channel was banned from broadcasting out of Cairo in August of 2013. The channel at the time was criticized for being sympathetic to Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
6. India (2015)
The Indian government banned Al Jazeera in April of 2015 for five days, as it displayed incorrect maps of India with portions of Indian territory not being shown as part of the country.