Stop the attacks on independent journalists in the Kurdistan Region!

By Mufid Abdulla & Harem Karem:

We at The Kurdistan Tribune join other media, organisations and dignitaries in condemning a concerted campaign of attacks and intimidation against journalists that has increased rapidly in South Kurdistan since 17 Feb when the anti-government protests began.

We denounce all the attacks and harassment of independent journalists, intellectuals, activists and writers in general and in particular the cowardly attack on Asos Hardi (the founder of Kurdistan’s first independent papers – Awene and Hawlati, and winner of the Gebran Tueni Award) while urging the ruling parties to stop the incitement of lynching.

Kurdish journalists who are independent or not affiliated with the ruling parties have been subjected to frequent attacks and even on some occasions kidnapped and killed – namely Sardasht Osman and Soran Mama-Hama – while others have been assaulted.

We urge the ruling parties’ leaders to put a leash on their thugs, stop promoting terror and end their systematic attacks, while demanding thorough investigation into this assault of Asos Hardi.

The systematic and sustained attacks documented by local independent media leave no doubt that the ruling parties’ orchestrated efforts to target the media and suppress the news are well under way as their own propaganda machines cannot catch up with reality. With this turn of events, the ruling parties are seeking to create an information vacuum that puts them in the company of the world’s worst oppressors in countries such as Zimbabwe, Burma, Iran and Cuba.


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