Arab Today Baghdad correspondent Jaafar Al Nasrawi
Arab Today journalist Jaafar Al Nasrawi was detained by Iraqi security forces on Friday, according to eyewitnesses.
Nasrawi was covering demonstrations in Tahrir Square,
central Baghdad, calling for an end to arbitrary arrests of intellectuals, when the incident occurred.
Witnesses said security forces took the journalist to an undisclosed location without giving any reason for his arrest.
However, a source in the Iraqi Interior Ministry said on condition of anonymity, that Nasrawi was suspected of covering the protests without first getting the necessary permit from authorities.
The source added that Nasrawi is being held at Bab el-Mozam police station in Baghdad, and that he will be questioned in the coming hours.
The Press Freedoms Observatory revealed that press freedom in Iraq has witnessed a severe deterioration during 2012, highlighting that it was the worst year for media since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
The offices of three press agencies were attacked by an extremist religious group in Baghdad in April, as journalists continue to face harassment.
The Observatory added that authorities, in response to the political crisis in the country, began to imprison Iraqi and foreign journalists.
The International Union of Journalists issued a statement in May denouncing the increasing violence committed against journalists in Iraq.
The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, said on Wednesday that over 600 journalists were killed during the past decade whilst covering non-combatant situations.
Eliasson encouraged all UN entities to submit information which could contribute to journalists\' greater safety.