Armed elements in civilian attires prevented several satellite channels from covering a student demonstration, which started today in Sulaymaniyah near the political bureau of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, seized their equipment, and arrested a photojournalist.
The Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq learned from its coordinator in the region that the elements prevented the correspondent of “KNN”, Briar Namik from covering the demonstration, after they stormed the filming site, and seized the channel’s equipment. He also pointed out that other elements arrested cameraman of “Westka News” channel, Zaniar Mariwan for more than half an hour inside one of the vehicles, and seized the channel’s equipment.
He added that a security force surrounded the vehicle of “Westka News” reporter, Lania Bakhitar, then they were forced to a street behind the Sulaymaniyah court, to prevent them from covering the demonstration.
The Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq condemns the attacks on journalists during the performance of their work, and considers it a clear violation of the freedom of journalistic and media work in the country.
The association recently indicates a decline in the level of freedom of journalistic work in the region, and in Sulaymaniyah in particular, after a series of arrests of journalists recently that have beenn documented by the association. We call on politicians and the competent security authorities to provide the necessary protection for the media, instead of being the source of threat, and to abide by international conventions signed by the region’s politicians, and to abide by the constitution.