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NRT office in Duhok shut down by Kurdish security forces

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NRT office in Duhok (Photo: NRT Digital Media)
2019-01-27

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SULAIMANI — NRT’s Duhok office has been shut down by the security forces.

On Sunday afternoon (January 27), members of the security forces arrived at NRT's office and forced all staff members who were present to leave and are not letting any NRT employees to reenter the premises.

The closure of NRT's office in Duhok came after KRG Prime Minister Nehcirvan Barzani said during a press conference “we deal severely with channels that bypass Kurdistan security.”

The Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Culture and Youth, which has jurisdiction in such matters, said the ministry had not been consulted about closing the office.

“There is no decision from us about shutting down the NRT office in Duhok and we have not been asked to execute the decision,” Spokesman of the Ministry of Culture and Youth Farhang Gomashini told NRT Digital Media.

“The security forces have other duties and responsibilities to do, not closing a channel’s office,” he added.

The spokesman stressed that the closure of a channel needs to follow legal procedures.

On Saturday evening, the security forces arrested an NRT team while they were filming in front of Duhok Emergency Hospital in order to report on the condition of injured protesters who were being transferred there.

Several other NRT reporting teams were also arrested. All NRT staff were later released.

At least one person died and at least ten people were wounded when protesters stormed a Turkish military facility in Shiladze in Duhok province.

The protests were in response to Turkish airstrikes that killed four people on Wednesday.

(NRT Digital Media)

This story was updated at 7:24pm EBL.