PUK/Pavel Talabani wing elements raided the headquarters of the Kurdish channel I Plus, which is still in the process of being piloted online, and arrested a number of journalists working there, while the force informed three news sites that its offices should be closed immediately, sites (Xian, Zhao, Azans).
Press Freedom Advocacy Association coordinator in Sulaimania said the closed media belonged to Lahore Sheikh Janki, the joint president of the Union of Kurdistan (PUK), and that the closure came after political differences aggravated between Pavel Talabani and Lahore’s Sheikh Janki.
He added that the force arrested a number of journalists working for IPlus channel, and destroyed most of its equipment, indicating that elements of another force informed the media organizations (Zian, Zhao and Azans) to close their offices immediately.
Journalists working for these channels refused to give any information for fear of being prosecuted or arrested.
Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq considers the closure of the channels’ headquarters in Sulaimania and the arrest of their journalists, a clear violation of the freedom of journalistic work and an infringement of the principles of the Constitution.
The association also rejects the policy of leaders and the ruling authority in Kurdistan Region against media workers, particularly as it closely follows the recent decline in the region in the area of freedom of press work and expression of opinion.
The Association calls for the immediate release of detained journalists and for press institutions not to be embroiled in political differences between leaders in the territory.