Metro Center

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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.

Military forces rounded up journalists in Baghdad's Tahrir Square, seen here today. (AP/Karim Kadim) New York, February 25, 2011--The Committee to protect Journalists documented additional attacks today in Iraq, Yemen, and Libya as journalists tried to cover anti-government protests. Iraqi authorities cracked down on media: Security forces stormed a satellite TV office, detained dozens of journalists, and confiscated equipment, according to local journalists and news reports. In Yemen, at least four journalists were detained today, according to local journalists, and Al-Jazeera reported that its crew was prevented from covering demonstrations in Sana'a. Libyan border patrols confiscated cameras and SIM cards of journalists entering Libya from Tunisia, according to news reports.
Bahraini anti-government protesters take a rest from demonstrations in central Manama, Bahrain. (Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed)

New York, February 17, 2011--Authorities in Bahrain and Yemen have escalated their physical attack on the press in order to censor coverage of spreading anti-government protests, the Committee to protect Journalists said today. Also, in Iraq, at least two journalists were attacked by guards for the Kurdistan Democratic Party's building, local journalists told CPJ. 

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