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 Press freedom first victim of political unrest in Iraqi Kurdistan

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Press freedom first victim of political unrest in Iraqi Kurdistan  4.12.2011  





December 4, 2011

ERBIL-Hewlęr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — A press freedom organization in Kurdistan has warned that violations against journalists in Kurdistan has "gone beyond all limits" as unrest swept across Duhok province on Friday and Saturday.

"In 48 hours, 6 media offices have been torched, 6 journalists have been put in jail and 16 more journalists have been subjected to attacks," Metro center said in a statement.

The statement criticizes authorities in Kurdistan Region for not protecting press freedom during political unrest.      

"In all political crises, without any legal justification, security forces arrest journalists and confiscate or break their equipment" the statement reads, "and by doing this they make a first victim of journalists in the conflict."

Metro condemns the torching of the media offices and the detention of journalists calling on the authorities to bring those responsible for incidents to justice.

On Friday, a number of liquor shops, hotels and a massage parlours were torched by a mob in Zakho, Duhok province,
www.ekurd.net allegedly following the preaching of a cleric who encouraged the burning of those places on religious and moral grounds.

In the incidents the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), an opposition group, was accused of fueling the violence and subsequently alleged fans of the KDP attacked KIU offices in Zakho, Duhok city, Semel and Qasrok and set them on fire.

All the six media offices set on fire, and cited by the Metro statement, belonged to the KIU.

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