RSF condemns the harassment of media during a protest in Iraqi Kurdistan

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is warning of and condemning the harassment of opposition media in Iraqi Kurdistan. RSF’s Middle East desk said that the brutality against journalists shows a complete refusal of tolerance of political pluralism and a desire to suppress this popular protest.

The violence is used as a tool for dispersing not only protesters but also the journalists who cover it. RSF has gained information from Metro Center, an NGO that defends journalists’ rights in Iraqi Kurdistan, that there are a total of 78 violations against 60 journalists, including searching, detainment, prevention from covering protests, and equipment confiscation.

These protests are called by the New Generation leader, Shaswar Abdalwahid in order to demand elections and to denounce “corruption, poverty, and unemployment.” Consequently, out of the 26 journalists who were detained shortly, at least ten work for NRT, a TV channel owned by Abdalwahid.