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Metro Center: Over 350 violations against reporters in Kurdistan in 2021

PM:07:48:16/01/2022

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SULAIMANI — The Metro Center for Journalists' Rights and Advocacy said on Sunday (January 16) 353 violations were committed against 260 journalists and media organizations in the Kurdistan Region in 2021.

The organization announced during a ceremony at Sulaimani’s Ramada Hotel that there were 81 cases of assault, one case of a journalist who was shot, 25 arrests without a warrant, 13 cases of threats against journalists and the closure of two media offices.

The center also reported 25 cases of the confiscation of reporters’ equipment and seven cases of journalists’ equipment being destroyed.

Metro Center also recorded four incidents of court sentences against journalists that were outside the law of journalism. The Kurdistan Region has pursued many legal cases against journalists over the past year, including the case of the Badinan detainees in Duhok, who were among numerous arrests during anti-government protests in 2020.

The report noted there were a total of 2,632 violations against 2,165 journalists and media channels recorded over the previous 10 reports from 2011 to 2022, specifying three of the incidents were cases of terrorism.

Metro Center said the number of violations of freedom of the press has decreased by 8 percent compared to 2020.

The decrease of cases does not mean the working environment is safe for journalists but that the type of violations has changed, Metro stated.

(NRT Digital Media)