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Iraqi Kurdistan Region Slammed For Violating Press Freedoms

A new report by Human Rights Watch has criticized the government in Kurdistan for what it calls “serious violations” of freedom of speech, as a draft law would make it illegal for journalists to insult politicians, reports Abdel Hamid Zebari.
A pressman keeps watch on the print run of the first Baghdad edition of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan's newspaper April 22, 2003. The printing press in the Bab al-Muadham district used to print the official al-Iraq newspaper, and also issued the last editions of Iraq's three other main official newspapers because other presses were out of action. But it has been taken over by a Kurdish group, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), and will now produce a newspaper called Al-Ittihad. - RTXLWW2
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In its most recent report, Human Rights Watch (HRW) demanded that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) stop arbitrarily detaining journalists, activists and political opposition figures. It also called for an end to the prosecution of journalists on charges of insulting or defaming public figures, and demanded that the KRG not restrict press freedoms.

HRW issued a report this February entitled "Iraqi Kurdistan: Free Speech Under Attack," which discusses the arbitrary detention and prosecution of journalists and others for criticizing the authorities in the region.

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