IFJ Welcomes Release of Iraqi Journalist after Month-long Detention

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today hailed the release of Iraqi journalists Kelshan Al Bayati, who was held for nearly a month in an Iraqi prison without charges.

Al Bayati, an Iraqi correspondent for the London-based Arabic-language daily newspaper Al Hayet, has been held in a women’s prison in Tikrit since September 18. She was released on Monday.

Before her detention, Al Bayati had been writing a story on militant groups in the area where she lives in Tikrit and she met with some of the militants for the story. On September 18, she was seized by security forces when she went to their headquarters to retrieve a personal computer confiscated during a raid on her home, her family said. Earlier, she had been detained for two days by Iraqi authorities.

“We are glad Kelshan has been freed, but it is unacceptable that she should be held for so long,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “Unless international standards of justice are applied, this sort of action amounts to intimidation of a bona fide journalist. A government cannot call itself democratic if it resorts to jailing reporters without charges whenever it chooses.”

Click here to see the IFJ demand for Kelshan’s release.

For more information contact the IFJ at +32 2 235 2207

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries worldwide