International Journalists Federation Urges Iraq's Kurdistan To Guarantee Media Freedom

(@FahadShabbir)

International Journalists Federation Urges Iraq's Kurdistan to Guarantee Media Freedom

The International Journalists Federation (IFJ) on Friday urged the government of Iraq's Kurdistan region to guarantee media freedom, citing a new report published by the Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate in which media workers claimed to suffer abuse and arbitrary arrest this past year.

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 07th February, 2020) The International Journalists Federation (IFJ) on Friday urged the government of Iraq's Kurdistan region to guarantee media freedom, citing a new report published by the Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate in which media workers claimed to suffer abuse and arbitrary arrest this past year.

"The report shows a worrying trend in preventing journalists from doing their work. We call upon the authorities in the Kurdish Region of Iraq to ensure the safety of journalists, both local and foreign, and for Iraqi and Kurdish security forces to respect the law which protects journalists' rights," Anthony Bellanger, the IFJ general secretary, said in a press release.

Journalists in Iraqi Kurdistan stated that police authorities often prevented them from reporting on events, and twenty reporters were arrested by police this past year.

Additionally, seven journalists and media workers were reportedly attacked for trying to report on protests against a Turkish military base.

Reporters in the region are said to be facing threats from Iraqi Kurdish authorities, as well as from the Iraqi military and the Iranian-backed Shia Popular Mobilization Forces.

The IFJ also urged President of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani to stop ignoring the murder of journalists, claiming that less than one in 10 murders of media workers are being investigated by the law enforcement authorities.

In January 2019, seven members of the media working for the local NRT broadcaster were attacked and detained for several hours while trying to report on protests against a Turkish military base in the Iraqi Kurdish town of Sheladiz, according to the IFJ.

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