"> Not for Censoring Journalists with Wooden Batons


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February 17, 2012

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Not for Censoring Journalists with Wooden Batons

Today we participated in a ceremony honoring Rezhwan at the graveyard and then went to the city center in Sulaimani city. This morning, the first anniversary of the February 17 demonstrations, we observed the situation through the eyes of some local and international observers. We saw a huge number of military in and around the city center. We also saw a large number of unknown forces with cars with temporary license plates. As observers, we are dissatisfied that the journalist and director of Metro Center, Rahman Ghareb, was beaten severely, with wooden batons and plastic pipes, by 20 soldiers, police and unknown forces. After he was beaten, without provocation, he was dragged off and arrested. Similar treatment occurred to a number of other young people. We observed 7 such cases. From our perspective as the Federation, we find it troublesome that on many occasions we have asked the authorities to use civil police in such actions, but unfortunately, what we observed today was that citizens were beaten by forces carrying batons and BKC, automatic machine guns. In order not to allow journalists to tell the story is to censor the citizenship. As the Federation, we ask for the release of the arrested journalist, Rahman Gharab and all those arrested this morning. We ask for an investigation by Parliament and the state’s attorney and we trust they will not be silent and allow the city of Sulaimani to be turned into an armed camp. It is our strong belief that the rights of expression and freedom of any civil activities and protest be allowed. We ask the groups who call for such actions to identify themselves and take responsibility for these actions rather than building a gathering of concerned individuals without clear, conscious guidance.

Federation of Civil ociety NGOs  A group of independent organizations and activists

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