Kurdish Authorities Restricts Independent Media in Iraq
Today, Skyline International criticizes the Iraqi Kurdish authorities for greatly restricting the independent media by closing press offices unlawfully.
The Stockholm-based international foundation "Skyline" states that the recent closure of two offices for the private media outlet "NRT" persecutes any independent press coverage and weakens the security issue.
"It is believed that the closure of the "NRT" two offices happened due to covering widespread protests and criticizing the ruling party, which accuses the NRT of making provocative propaganda campaigns", said Skyline.
Skyline indicates that the Iraqi Kurdish authorities' procedures were taken without a judicial order. They imposed closing Erbil and Dohuk only, under the control of the "Kurdistan Democratic Party."
It is noteworthy that NRT, which has a Kurdish and Arabic speaking channel, is the only media outlet that has covered the widespread protests that happened last August. The same month, the regional government stormed an office belonging to the NRT and detained employees there for several hours, and arbitrarily arrested a reporter for 11 days.
Skyline International stresses that the Kurdish authorities in Iraq must allow freedom of media work. Thus, they should enable NRT to immediately reopen its offices and halt any other acts of intimidation.
The Foundation emphasizes that the authorities must respect international covenants and treaties that guarantee freedom of media work and end harassment of journalists and independent media outlets.
In its statement, Skyline calls the Kurdish authorities to provide more space for press freedoms and calls upon states and governments allied to Baghdad to pressure the authorities to stop the continuous violations against the media.