In an Aggressive Reply: Kirkuk Denies Violations against Journalists

29/12/2021

Kirkuk Journalists’ Syndicate issued a statement entitled “ Kirkuk’s Reply” referring to the annual report that was issued by the Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq.  The report, issued very recently revealed tens of aggressions and attacks against journalists and media staff members in the province.

The statement announced that  all of their journalists and others who are not members of the syndicate are performing their journalistic duties freely within the frame of the national and literature commitments of the job. The syndicate said that the journalists are supported by Kirkuk’ administration and the Senior Command of Operations, and that the Association is merely claiming that it is defending the rights of the journalists.

The association expresses its disappointment that the syndicate did not even pay any efforts in tracking the incidents and documentations concerning the violations that occurred in Kirkuk and that were mentioned in the report, neither did it communicate with any of the journalists who were mentioned in the report. The syndicate took no action in neither addressing the mentioned violations nor securing their non- recurrence. It is rather unusual that it would take the position of defending the attitude of the operations command in the province. This conduct contradicts its duty of being the defender and backing side for the journalists in the province especially under the recent security challenging surroundings where terrorists and opportunists are ceasing any gap for their benefit.

The association confirms that all the 35 violations are documented with proof and testimonials and the aggressive tone of considering our report unauthentic is a further abuse we reject, especially that it described the association of “claiming” what it reported and this in itself has nothing to do with the professional commitment of our association.

We demand that the Syndicate of Iraqi Journalists investigates the incidents mentioned in the annual report, and that it directs its branch in Kirkuk to investigate the said incidents instead of occupying themselves as the attorney of the operations command.

The association reserves its right in suing the syndicate’s branch in Kirkuk, according to both laws of Iraqi penal code no. 111, and NGOs legislature.

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