Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Journalists demonstrate in Kurdistan - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

File photo of a Kurdish Peshmerga soldier holding a Kurdistan flag from August 6, 2012. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari/Files)

File photo of a Kurdish Peshmerga soldier holding a Kurdistan flag from August 6, 2012. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari/Files)

Erbil, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Metro Center to Defend Journalists led a demonstration in Erbil yesterday in protest against media laws in the Kurdistan region. These include the suspension of the law relating to journalists in legal disputes and the failure to activate the information access law that was legislated by the Kurdistan parliament and allows journalists and the media to access information.

Rahman Gharib, head of the center in Sulaimaniya, stressed that “violations against journalists have increased over the recent period. They frequently suffer from humiliation, having their cameras broken and being physically attacked, but so far the authorities in Kurdistan have not held any of the aggressors to account. In contrast, journalists are swiftly presented to courts when officials complain about them. This is unfair. Furthermore, courts in Kurdistan have still not complied with Article 35 of the journalism law issued by the Kurdistan parliament. Many disputes involving journalists are unresolved.”

Speaking about the decision to demonstrate in Erbil, Gharib said that “Erbil is the capital of Kurdistan, and violations are not specific to one area—it is the general situation in all areas. But we chose to demonstrate in Erbil so that we could attract the attention of the government, which is based in Erbil. We delivered a note to the prime minister via the governor of Erbil, Nawzad Hadi, who had a positive and honorable stance towards us. He supported our demands to end violations, and promised to hand the note over to the prime minister.”

The head of the Metro Center continued, explaining the organization’s demands, which are “limited first to expanding media freedoms in the region in general, since there is a clear restriction on these freedoms. Second, the execution of the journalism law, which is to be adhered to in all cases and disputes that are referred to the courts. This law is the only guarantee of a defense for journalists. Third, the implementation of the information access law, [which was] recently issued by the parliament and ratified by the regional president, together with a recommendation that security departments and services adjust their behavior, the way they deal with journalists, and stop attacks on them.”

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

More Posts

Follow Me:
FacebookGoogle PlusYouTube