The IFJ joins the Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate (KJS) in condemning the attack and in demanding the authorities respect freedom of information in the region.
According to the KJS, the events took place during the protests against Turkish shelling that resulted in 5 casualties and many injured. NRT reported that protesters assaulted the Turkish base “setting fire to watchtowers and standing on tanks” and that at least one person died.
The KJS said in a statement: “We consider this attack as a violation of the Journalism Regulation Law 35 (2007) in Kurdistan region of Iraq. We call on the responsible security forces to treat journalists within the scope of the law and to not mix journalistic work with politics. We urge them to reopen NRT offices in the governorate and to return journalists’ confiscated equipment as soon as possible”.
NRT has been a frequent target of the Kurdistan Regional Government and the security forces under its control because of its critical coverage over the last few years. Its crews and offices have been targeted frequently.
IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “Authorities must protect and ensure freedom of information regardless of the context. The arbitrary detention of journalists for doing their job and the shutdown of media offices is an unacceptable attempt to silence the press in the region. We call on all authorities to respect media freedom and to not make journalists hostages of their conflict”.