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Watchdog denounces assault on Zhyan reporting team in Erbil

  2021-04-28  | 
 Zhyan News Network
Security forces attack Zhyan News Network reporting team at the gate of the Kurdistan Parliament while reporting. Photo/screenshot
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – National Union of Journalists –Iraq (NUJI) on Tuesday (April 27) condemned the assaulting of Zhyan News Network reporting team by the security forces at the gate of the Kurdistan Parliament while reporting a protest by a lawmaker.

On Tuesday, a number of media outlets including Zhyan News Network were barred from livestreaming a protest by New Generation Movement caucus chief Kazim Faruq at the parliament’s gate, as they were distanced by force and coerced to broadcast afar.

Zhyan News Reporter Diyar Hussein and Photographer Ayoub Saleh were assaulted and their reporting equipment was seized, the watchdog said. “They were assaulted while performing a journalistic mission, which is covering the parliamentary session, and they were prevented from reporting, and their devices were confiscated.”

“National Union of Journalists –Iraq condemns the continued prohibitions against journalists and rejects attacks on them while performing their work, as it considers what they were exposed to as a violation of the freedom of journalistic work,” it said.

The watchdog also called on the security force to exercise constraint and avoid attacking the journalists “for reporting the events.”

Local and international watchdogs have voiced alarm by the aggravating state of freedom of press and expression in the Region, especially after clampdowns on anti-government protests and arresting journalists and activists by the security forces affiliated with Barzani’s party the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in areas under its jurisdiction last year. 

385 violations against journalists and media outlets were logged throughout 2020, according to the local watchdog Metro Center for Journalists’ Rights and Advocacy.

(Zhyan English)