Security forces arrested NRT reporter Hossam Kaabi on Muthana street in Najaf late on Thursday night. “He was transported to the National Security Directorate and later was handed over to the police.” Wissam Rashid, a close friend to al-Kaabi, told NRT Digital Media.

“The arrest of Hossam al-Kaabi was based on lawsuit by the National Security Adviser Falih Alfayyadh on charges of defamation on a social network,” Rashid added.

The Journalist Freedoms Observatory (JFO) in Iraq condemned the arrest and said that the government was trying to suppress press freedom, which is against the Iraqi constitution.

The Observatory called on Alfayyadh to withdraw his lawsuit and bear al-Kaabi’s criticisms against his performance without resorting to legal pressure.