Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Kurdistan journalists demand being exempted from law for combating terrorism

Kurdistan journalists demand being exempted
from law for combating terrorism

Arbil / agencies - Journalists in a number of local media in Arbil delivered a memorandum to the Kurdistan Parliament, signed by 7 newspapers, 3 magazines and Radio Nawa, calling for being exempted from a draft law for combating terrorism that will be debated in its next session. The memorandum said that journalists must not be subjected to this law or any other punitive law because journalistic work has nothing to do at all with terrorism. It demanded that the law should stipulate on "preserving the journalist's right to obtain information that concern citizens and public interest. It also said that “the journalist should be given the right to appeal to the public prosecution or the Special Court in order to investigate the relevant body if it refuses to provide the requested information.”
The memorandum further called for the abolition of the article that penalizes a newspaper with suspension if it publishes an illegal article. It argued that such a penalty, no logger how brief it is, will mean permanent stoppage for free media because they rely totally on their daily revenues, and will therefore be unable to pay the wages of their employees.
The Kurdistan Parliament had endorsed a draft law for regulating journalistic work in Kurdistan region last year, but the region's President, Masoud Barzani, revoked that law and sent it back to the parliament to be discussed once again because it faced criticism by journalists, trade unions and journalistic organisations.

Source: Tareeq Al-Shaab, daily newspaper of the Iraqi Communist Party.

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