“Alarming Violence” against Journalists in Northern Iraq

Denying these accusations in a communiqué on 28 October, Rudaw TV said it had not been formally notified of the suspension and had received no prior warning or complaint.

Tension in the region has also been exacerbated by KDP leader Masoud Barzani’s decision to stand down as president of the Kurdistan Regional Government in the wake of the independence referendum he organized, which triggered an unprecedented crisis with the government in Baghdad.

Reporters were harassed and attacked by angry demonstrators while covering President Barzani’s resignation announcement to the Kurdish parliament in Erbil on the evening of 29 October.

Rebwar Kakaye, a reporter for private TV channel NRT TV, was doing a live interview when he was beaten with sticks and his equipment was smashed by demonstrators who were trying to force their way into the parliament building. He had to be taken to hospital.

KNN TV reporter Salih Harki and Roj News reporter Qarachux Anwer were also attacked, while the NRT TV offices in Erbil and Dohuk (another city in Iraqi Kurdistan) were ransacked the same evening.

Iraq is ranked 158th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index.

(Source: RSF)

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