COALITION PROVISIONAL AUTHORITY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sam Whitfield
BREMER APPOINTS IRAQIS TO THE NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS AND
20 April 2004 – Today Ambassador L. Paul Bremer announced the appointment of
the Chief Executive Officer and three Commissioners to the National
Communications and Media Commission of Iraq (ICMC) from a list of candidates
submitted to him by the Iraqi Governing Council.
“The creation and subsequent responsibilities of this Commission are critical to
Iraq’s communications network. It will take a leading role in introducing
cutting-edge information technology while promoting fair competition,” stated
Ambassador L. Paul Bremer.
The ICMC is the first joint authority in Iraq responsible for regulating all
forms of electronic communications, including voice and data telecommunications,
radio and television broadcasting and information and internet services. It will
also act as an advocate for media freedom and independence, and will work
closely with Iraq’s journalists’ associations, international media development
organisations and other relevant bodies in advancing professional standards and
ethics. Additionally, the Commission will encourage investment in infrastructure
and protect intellectual property and personal privacy.
Dr. Siyamend Zaid Othman has been appointed as ICMC’s Chief Executive Officer.
He was born in Arbil, obtained his Ph.D. in social sciences in Paris, France in
1984, and worked for six years at Amnesty International as the researcher in
charge of the Arabian Peninsular. Dr. Othman later became Vice-President for
Strategic Planning at United Press International. Since 1998, he has been
working as senior media consultant for various media and IT organisations.
“It’s an honour and a privilege to have won the confidence of all concerned and
to have been appointed the first chief executive in charge of managing and
developing the nation’s first independent regulatory body. I am confident that
this new Iraqi institution will play a crucial and positive role in the reform
of media and telecommunications in our country, ensure better services, improve
consumer and business confidence, and increase investment, as well as further
encourage freedom of expression and develop the media landscape,” said Dr.
Othman after learning of his appointment.
The following individuals have been appointed as ICMC Commissioners:
- Dr. Awni Afram Karoumi: Born in Mosul and is Iraq’s leading theatre director
and producer. Dr. Karoumi obtained his Ph.D. in aesthetics and art from Humboldt
University in Berlin, Germany in 1976. In the 1980s, he taught drama at the
Academy of Fine Arts at Baghdad University. He is the recipient of numerous
international, regional and Iraqi awards and prizes for his work.
- Mahdi al-Rahim: Born in Baghdad, studied Law and obtained his Masters of Art
in the same field from the University of Cairo. Mr. al-Rahim became Vice
Chairman of the Rafidain Bank and was later elected as the Secretary General of
the Baghdad Chamber of Commerce. He founded and headed several companies both in
Iraq and abroad and is currently an active participant in the revival of Iraq’s
- Dr. Amal Shlash: Born in Baghdad, obtained her Ph.D. in Economics in United
Kingdom, and is currently a Professor of Economics and Chairperson of the board
of Bayt al-Hikma, Iraq’s premier think-tank. Dr. Shlash is also a member of the
“Strategic Review Board” set-up to oversee Iraq’s reconstruction efforts. She
has written several books and studies on Iraq’s economy.
The Director General and the Commissioners will now proceed with further
consultations with the Iraqi Governing Council, members of civil society, and
the media and communications professions to nominate the remaining six
Commissioners, including the Commission’s Chairperson.
Eventually, the ICMC will propose to the sovereign Iraqi government a new
Communications and Broadcasting Law covering professional standards and codes of
conduct for media professionals as well as frequency management and licensing
for audio-visual media and telecommunications. Once enacted, the Commission
shall be responsible for administering and enforcing the new law.
The ICMC will take into account global best practices and the recommendations of
the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). And, it will also be guided by
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Article 19
of the Universal Declaration of Human rights. The Commissioner appointments are
pursuant to Order No. 65 issued March 20th that established the Commission as an
independent institution to oversee the development of Iraq’s communications and