Prohibited media activity

Order No. 14 issued by the Coalition Provisional Authority, 2003: "Identifying Prohibited Media Activity"



Pursuant to my authority as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), and under the laws and usages of war, and consistent with relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 1483 (2003),

Noting the extensive specific authority granted to the CPA under the laws and usages of war for the control of all appliances, whether on land, at sea, or in the air, adapted for the transmission of information, whether State or privately owned,

Recognizing the importance of the provision of accurate information to the Iraqi people,

Committed to creating an environment in which freedom of speech is cherished and information can be exchanged freely and openly,

Welcoming the emergence of a free and independent media in Iraq,

Determined to prevent the misuse of media to promote violence or undermine public security generally,

I hereby promulgate the following:


Definition:"Media organization" includes individuals or groups, and private, corporate, or public entities, domestic or international, established for the purpose of transmitting information by any means.


Prohibited Activities:Media organizations are prohibited from broadcasting or publishing original, re-broadcast, re-printed or syndicated material that:

a) incites violence against any individual or group, including racial, ethnic or religious groups and women;

b) incites civil disorder, rioting or damage to property;

c) incites violence against Coalition Forces or CPA personnel;

d) advocates alterations to Iraq's borders by violent means;

e) advocates the return to power of the Iraqi Ba'ath Party or makes statements that purport to be on behalf of the Iraqi Ba'ath Party.


Detection of Prohibited Activities:

1) The Administrator shall have the authority to use all the capabilities available to the CPA for the purpose of detecting prohibited activities under this Order.

2) The Administrator may authorize on-site inspections of Iraqi media organizations, without notice, in order to ascertain compliance with this Order and to seize any prohibited materials and production equipment and seal off any operating premises. No compensation will be allowed for any such material or equipment seized, or premises closed.


Emergency Security Response

1) Where any media activity poses an imminent threat to the security of Coalition Forces or CPA personnel, or a significant and immediate threat to public order, the Commander of Coalition Forces may take direct action to prevent or defeat the threat. Any action taken in accordance with this section will be immediately reported to the Administrator.

2) Nothing in this Order limits the authority of the Commander of Coalition Forces to execute military operations under applicable Rules of Engagement.



1) Any media organization found to be broadcasting, publishing, or attempting to broadcast or publish prohibited material in violation of this Order may be detained, arrested, prosecuted and, if convicted, sentenced by relevant authorities to up to one year in prison or a fine of up to USD1,000.00.

2) The Administrator may, in his discretion, withdraw the license, close the operation, confiscate the property, and seal the premises of any media organization found to be in breach of this Order.


Appeal by a Media Organization:Any media organization whose license, property, premises or operation has been withdrawn, seized, sealed or closed, may submit to the Administrator written evidence as to why the action should be reversed.


Entry into Force:This Order shall enter into force on the date of signature.

L. Paul Bremer, Administrator
Coalition Provisional Authority