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KRG PM to NRT: We deal severely with channels that bypass Kurdistan security

2019-01-27

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SULAIMANI — Addressing why the security forces had arrested NRT reporters the previous day, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said Sunday (January 27) that democracy and freedom have limits and that no channel should cross those lines.

The security forces arrested four teams of NRT journalists on Saturday in Shiladze and Duhok as they were covering the aftermath of deadly protests in the governorate. 

At least one person died and ten other people were wounded when protesters stormed a Turkish military facility.

Local residents were angry about Turkish airstrikes that killed four people on Wednesday.

Barzani’s comments came in response to an NRT Digital Media reporter, who asked him why the channel’s reporters are so often arrested.

“Democracy and freedom have their limits. To us, the security of citizens is more important than the other things that are talked about,” Barzani said during a press conference.

“Sometimes, the boundary is overstepped. When that happens, the KRG will deal severely with those entities that want to bypass the security of the Kurdistan Region: any group, any channel. We will not accept that.”

The Committee to Defend Journalists' Freedom and Rights, a local journalists’ advocacy group, released a statement saying that the arrest of the NRT journalists was a “violation of the law.”

(NRT Digital Media)