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Media advocacy accuses security forces of violence against journalists

2018-09-28

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SULAIMANI – A media advocacy center accused security forces on Friday (September 28) of using violence against journalists during early voting in the Kurdistan Region’s parliamentary election.

NRT was among the media organizations whose journalists were harassed and by the authorities, Metro Center for Journalists Rights and Advocacy reported.

NRT reporters Hengaw Mohammed and Khalid Mohammed were prevented by the security forces from covering the election process, it added.

Earlier in the day, the senior editor of Westga News, Sirwan Gharib, said that armed guards patrolling a polling place attacked and insulted him while he was trying to take pictures at the station.

Other journalists from Gali Kurdstan, Rudaw, KNN, K24, Speda, and Kurdstan TV were also subjected to violence and prevented for covering the vote.

“We strongly condemn the attacks and [intimidation] during the early election against teams of journalists, and call for those involved to be brought to justice,” it added.

The media advocacy center also said that having journalists and other organizations monitor the process is a factor of a “clear election,” while preventing them from doing so raises questions about the fairness of the process.

Early voting for the parliamentary election began across the Kurdistan Region at 8 a.m. on Friday.

There are 170,463 eligible early voters including members of the security forces in the provinces of Erbil, Sulaimani, Duhok, and Halabja.

(NRT)