Journalists protest for media freedom on Kurdish Press Day


Kurdish journalists gathered in Hewler on Monday to demonstrate against attacks on Kurdish press freedom. They held up “yellow cards”, a warning to Iraqi officials that violations on their press liberties must stop. The 22nd was a significant day for Kurdish journalists as it marks the day the first Kurdish newspaper was printed im 1898 in Cairo. Warvin reports on the protest:


Niaz Abdulla the owner of the idea and the organizer of the “whistle” campaign said the journalists, intellectuals and the artists will gather Monday in front of the Kurdistan parliament so that they whistle and raise yellow card to the region presidencies and demand a limitation to the discrimination.

On the same day, two Kurdish journalists arrested in March, Massoud and Khosro Kordpour, were allowed their first family visit after 45 days of detainment. They were the former owners of Mokerian News service, “which focused on news and events in the province of Kurdistan in northwestern Iran.” The brothers have yet to be charged formally with a crime.

Their case is only one in a long list of aggressions against Kurdish journalists. Last February, there was an explosion on the roof of an independent Kurdish TV station, Nalia Radio & Television. Asos Hardi, director of the Awene Press and Publishing company, was attacked brutally in August of 2011. In 2010, a kidnapped Kurdish journalist was found dead, his body tortured, after writing critically of Iraq’s ruling parties.