Violations against journalists at ‘dangerous level’ in Kirkuk: watchdog

A general view of Kirkuk City (File)

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SULAIMANI — A local press freedom watchdog has warned that violations against journalists have reached a “dangerous level” in Kirkuk.

The Committee for Defending Journalists’ Liberty and Rights in the Kurdistan Region released a statement on Monday (December 9) saying that journalists in the governorate are often subjected to violence and intimidation by the government and armed groups, which restricts their ability to do their jobs.

“We believe the city’s administration and armed forces and groups in Kirkuk carry out these acts against journalists on purpose,” it said, adding that it is a “sensitive, unusual, and dangerous issue.”

The committee called on the Iraqi Journalists’ Syndicate and officials from Baghdad and Erbil to ensure freedom of the press.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), there are currently at least 25 unpunished murders of journalists in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

Iraq ranks 156 out of 180 on the Reporters Without Borders 2019 Press Freedom Index.

(NRT Digital Media)