Kurdistan

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New York, February 13, 2013--Authorities in Kurdistan should immediately investigate and apprehend the perpetrators responsible for an explosion on the roof of the independent Nalia Radio and Television in Sulaymaniyah on Saturday, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The attack occurred the day after the station aired a caller's criticism of Mustafa Barzani, the former leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party.

New York, May 9, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns two official attacks on journalists working in Iraqi Kurdistan, including the assault on a television news crew and the arrest of an editor whose articles alleged corruption. CPJ also calls for an investigation into a car bombing that wounded a journalist in Baghdad.

French satellite provider Eutelsat announced yesterday it is suspending Kurdish satellite station Roj TV after a Danish court last week levied a hefty fine against the satellite station for promoting terrorism. Eutelsat's decision comes despite Roj TV's appeal before the Danish High Court, which is pending. The case has implications for how media content is evaluated, the rights of minority media, and how terrorism laws are balanced with human rights.

Anti-press violence in Iraqi Kurdistan, past and present

Protesters denounce anti-press violence in Iraqi Kurdisatn in this 2010 demonstration. (AP/Yahya Ahmed)

Kurdistan is different, as nearly every Iraqi Kurd I have ever met has said. Far less violent than the rest of Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, the parts of the north controlled by the Kurdish Regional Government have escaped the kind of sectarian unrest that continues to flare in the south. But in recent months more than 150 Iraqi Kurdish journalists have been injured or attacked, according to the local Metro Center to Defend Journalists. One journalist was murdered three years ago in Kirkuk after uncovering evidence of government corruption. But most of the journalists who find themselves more recently under siege have been covering violent clashes between the Kurdish security forces and protestors in Sulaymaniyah.

New York, April 20, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Yemeni authorities today to explain why they have held prominent journalist Ali Salah Ahmed since Tuesday without revealing his location or charging him with a crime. 

New York, August 10, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by death threats made against journalists at the Sulaymaniyah-based Livin after the magazine published an interview that was critical of a 20th-century Kurdish leader.

Barzani's KDP wants a to shut a newspaper that raised questions about its activities. (AP/Thierry Charlier)

New York, August 5, 2010The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) led by Masoud Barzani, president of the Kurdish Regional Government, to drop a defamation complaint against an opposition weekly, Rozhnama. The complaint, filed under Saddam Hussein-era criminal statutes, seeks US$1 billion in damages and the closing of the newspaper.

Massoud Barzani (Reuters)

Last week, a number of prominent journalists who cover Iraqi Kurdistan wrote an open letter to the president of the Kurdish Regional Government, Massoud Barzani, and the president of Iraq, Talal Talabani, calling on them to bring to an end a sharp rise in violations of press freedom. A journalist was abducted and murdered in the country as recently as May 6.

Below is the letter:

New York, May 6, 2010A reporter for independent news outlets was found shot to death this morning in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul after being abducted Wednesday in Arbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, according to news reports. Authorities in both cities must conduct a thorough investigation into the murder of Sardasht Osman and bring those responsible to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

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