Press freedom activists condemn Iraqi-Kurdish authorities' arrest of journalists
Kurdish security forces carried out a mass arrest campaign at a rally on Saturday led by teachers against months of unpaid salaries.
Among those seized were at least eight journalists affiliated with media outlets linked to opposition parties including Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).
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Ramadhan Artesey, the journalists' lawyer, said security forces also confiscated the journalists’ equipment. Four reporters were released several hours later and the remaining four were detained until Monday, when they were released on bail set at 2 million Iraqi dinars (1,680 USD).
The four were charged with participating in an unauthorised protest.
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Artesey told CPJ that the four reporters, named Akram Guli, Maher Sakfan, Omed Haji and Ahmed Sharnakhi, attended a court hearing on Monday together with teachers and activists who had also been arrested at the protest.
However the lawyer warned that the case was not yet over and the group would have to attend future trials.
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