February 4, 2008
Sulaimaniyah, Kurdistan Region 'Iraq',-- The
Kurdish newspaper Hawlati editor said he was
released on 1-million-dinar bail after giving his
testimony on Monday at a court in Sulaimaniyah
province on the lawsuit filed against him by Iraqi
President Jalal Talabani.
"I was released today on bail of one million Iraqi
dinars ($820) after I testified on the suit filed
against me by Iraqi President Talabani," Abad Arif
The central media official at Talabani's Patriotic
Union of Kurdistan (PUK) had earlier said that the
suit filed by Talabani was in his capacity as
secretary general of the PUK, not as president of
after the Hawlati
newspaper published incorrect reports.
The Kurdish paper, in a translated report by
American journalist Michael Robin “Is
Iraqi Kurdistan a Good Ally?” and
published on January 13, had spoken about
administrative and financial corruption in the Iraqi
Kurdistan region and money owned by Kurdish leaders.
Twana Othman, the press advisor for the independent
paper Hawlati, said in September 2007 that policemen
in Sulaimaniyah raided the paper's headquarters and
arrested its owner, Tariq
Fatih, after a complaint was lodged
against him by the brother of Omar Fattah,www.ekurd.net
the vice president of
the Iraqi Kurdistan region, for a newspaper article
criticizing him. The Kurdish police
released him on
200,000 Iraqi dinars ($150) bail in light of a
decision by the examining magistrate.
Othman and Asos Herdi, the former editor-in-chief of
Hawlati, were referred to court in February 2007
after Fattah, the former head of Iraqi Kurdistan
government (Sulaimaniyah administration), filed a
lawsuit against them and accused Hawlati of
publishing an article that defamed him.
The two were sentenced to suspended six months in
jail and a fine of 75,000 Iraqi dinars ($50) each.
There are only two private and independent
newspapers in Kurdistan Hawlati and Awene. All other
media in Kurdistan is funded by the political
parties, which these days are synonymous with the
Kurdistan Regional Government.
Iraqi Kurdistan is Free, but its Media sure isn't.
By David Axe April 6, 2006