New Duhok governor begins tenure by preventing reporters from covering Turkish airstrike protest in Shiladze

NRT team’s equipment sized in Deralok

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SULAIMANI — Security forces in Deraluk town in Duhok Governorate seized the equipment of an NRT reporting team on Friday (June 26) as they were traveling to Shiladze to cover a protest scheduled for later in the day against the recent Turkish airstrikes.

NRT Digital Media reporter Taeif Goran said that the security forces prevented them from reaching Shiladze, which is 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) east of Deraluk in the Amedi district.

According to Goran, the security forces told the NRT team that they needed permission from newly appointed Duhok Governor Ali Tatar to travel to Shiladze, at that point their equipment would be returned.

Tatar was nominated as governor earlier this week by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and approved by the provincial council on Thursday.

Four civilians were killed on June 19 near Shiladze in a Turkish airstrike. A heavy contingent of police and Asayish broke up a large protest the following day.

The town was also the site of a deadly protest in January 2019, when ten people died storming a Turkish military camp nearby. That demonstration had also been prompted by civilian deaths in Turkish airstrikes.

Following the January 2019 protest, the local security forces illegally shut down NRT's Duhok office for a month as punishment for extensively covering the demonstration.

Turkey escalated its military operations on June 15 by launching new bombing and ground campaigns in northern Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. It says that the operations are necessary to combat the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is based in the Region.

On Thursday, a Turkish airstrike in Sulaimani governorate’s Kuna Masi town killed two people, said by locals to be PKK fighters, and wounded six civilians, including two children, who were standing nearby.

(NRT Digital Media)