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 Halabja Municipality files lawsuit against Kurdish magazine in Iraqi Kurdistan

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Halabja Municipality files lawsuit against Kurdish magazine in Iraqi Kurdistan  17.10.2010  

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October 17, 2010

HALBJA, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — The head of the Halabja Municipality said on Thursday that they have filed a lawsuit against the Kurdish magazine Balga for slurring the reputation of the office.

Balga obtained a report by the Kurdistan Regional Financial Auditing office showing the breakdown of the municipality's expenditure and allegedly revealing financial corruption among Kurdish officials. The report was published in the magazine's 30th issue on Oct. 5.                        

Halabja Municipality files lawsuit against Kurdish magazine in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Khidir Karim at the head of the Halabja Municipality believed the report should have been kept confidential until the figures were confirmed. However, Jamal Abdullah, the chief editor of the magazine,www.ekurd.netmaintained that the duty of the media is to oversee the government’s conduct and to notify the public of any violations or improvements.

"We published the report on their money laundering without adding anything of our own," Abdullah said, while maintaining that the magazine can defend its ground.

Balga magazine is a political bimonthly that often publishes reports on different forms of corruption in the Kurdistan Region.

The editor in chief of the magazine was summoned to court in late August for another charge of slander.

Despite the growing number of media outlets in the Kurdistan Region, reports by local and international press freedom organizations indicate a rise in violations against the media.
 
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