Kurdistan Authorities Must Stop Violations against Journalists
STOCKHOLM - Skyline International calls on the Iraqi Kurdistan authorities to end their violations against journalists, halt restricting their freedom of work, and promptly release those who detained.
The Stockholm-based International Foundation has testimonies stating that Duhok security forces have arrested three TV journalists and seized their equipment on last Saturday.
The arrest has taken place while they were covering a protest on salaries delays during the coronavirus crisis.
The detainees also include Karwan Sadiq, a reporter for the PUK-affiliated broadcaster Gali Kurdistan, Speda TV reporter Ali Shali, Speda TV cameraman Hajar Barwari; director of the KIU-affiliated broadcaster Khabir TV, Maher Sakfan; director of the KIU-affiliated Khabir Radio, Ahmad Kahlid.
Skyline confirms that the detention of these journalists is a violation of freedom of the press and the media, and reflects the decoration in press freedom in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Last month, the security forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government arrested at least four journalists, including " Hemn Mamand", a freelancer based in Erbil, who was re-arrested on 5 April.
"Mamand" was arrested after giving an interview to the NRT TV Channel in which he described the conditions in the prison he was just released from. His first arrest was due to a Facebook post criticizing the measures taken by the autonomous Kurdish government to address the coronavirus crisis.
Skyline emphasizes the need to stop restricting journalists, as well as suspending their detentions without charges and legitimate grounds.
Skyline affirms that Kurdistan authorities must respect the right to expression, freedom of the press and media work under international agreements and covenants.
In this regard, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights confirms the individual's right to seek, receive and present information and ideas freely through various mediums, including the Internet and media channels.