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 Massoud Barzani complains of journalists in Kurdistan parliament 

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Massoud Barzani complains of journalists in Kurdistan parliament  10.1.2011  

January 10, 2011

ERBIL-Hewlêr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', —  President of Iraq's Kurdistan Region Massoud Barzani in a recent speech to a closed session of parliament has denounced some of the practices of independent journalists in the region, a report says.

During the speech, the content of which was leaked by opposition lawmakers, Barzani had accused journalists critical of his government of “muddling the condition of Kurdism” and “distorting the Kurdish personality,” a Press TV correspondent reported.

Barzani said that the journalists in the region were misusing their freedom and that they must be stopped.

When two academics published a joint article criticizing these comments, Barzani took legal action against them.                 

English: Video
A large demonstration was organized in protest, and after pressure brought about by the international NGO Reporters Without Borders, Barzani dropped the lawsuit, the report said.

Reporters Without Borders voices its support for a demonstration being organized on last Wednesday in Darbandikhan, 65 km southeast of Sulaimaniyah,
www.ekurd.netto defend two newspaper columnists and academics who are being sued by the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) led by Massoud Barzani and, in general, to defend media freedom and free expression in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region.

The two Kurdish academics, Mariwan Wrya Qani and Aras Fatah, are being prosecuted over the column they wrote jointly for the 8 June 2010 issue of the independent newspaper Awene entitled “What did the Kurdistan regional president say?

Also a new demonstration law brought out a wave of protests, more than a thousand protesters took to the main street in Erbil, the capital city of Kurdistan region last Tuesday, to condemn a new law requiring all public demonstrations to have government permits. Last December thousands of Iraqi Kurds took to the streets of the northern region's second city of Sulaimaniyah to protest against a recent law restricting the ability to demonstrate.

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