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KRG supports press freedom from violence, intimidation: PM Barzani

  2021-03-02  | 
 Zhyan News Network
Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Masrour Barzani speaks to members of Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate during a meeting in Erbil March 1, 2021.
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – As concerns are rising about the deteriorating state of the freedom of press and expression in the Kurdistan Region, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Monday (February 2) met with a delegation from the Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate. 

“Lengthy exchange with the Journalists Syndicate to reflect on the crucial work of the media,” Barzani tweeted.  

“I underlined KRG support for the freedom of press, free from violence and intimidation. This is central to any democratic society, and Kurdistan has made important progress.”

On February 16, the Branch 2 of Erbil’s Criminal Court sentenced five journalists and activists to six years in prison over alleged charges amounting to undermining security and stability of the Region.

The verdict sparked outrage among the local and international journalist advocates and organizations. 

Members of the journalist syndicate briefed Barzani about their activities, according to Barzani’s media office.

“There is freedom of expression in the Kurdistan Region, but media work needs to be reorganized and the destabilization available in media field should be prevented,” the members of the journalist syndicate said during the meeting reading a statement. 

Over a score of journalists, activists and political opposition figures are held in jails under the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) jurisdiction in Duhok governorate without charge or trial for periods ranging from several weeks to a year.

(Zhyan English)