Journalist detained in Hewlêr

The "Standard Kurd" reporter Dyako Husen was detained in Hewlêr on the fringes of a protest by the Kurdish Communist Party against the government. The METRO Centre for the Protection of Journalists' Rights is calling for his immediate release.

A journalist has been taken into custody in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Dyako Husen was set to accompany a rally organised by the Kurdish Communist Party (Partiya Komunîstî Kurdistan) for the rights of public sector workers in front of the seat of the Council of Ministers in Hewlêr (Erbil) on Monday when he was "abducted" by security forces of the ruling KDP, according to the news portal "Standard Kurd", for which the reporter works. The detention took place well before the start of the protest event and was more akin to a kidnapping, the website's creators criticised.

"This kind of mistreatment is part of the pressure exerted by the KRI authorities on freedom of expression, which leads to the number of charges against Kurdish officials increasing day by day and the country losing its friends in the international community," said Standard Kurd officials. They see Husen's safety under threat and call for his immediate release.

The METRO Centre for the Protection of Journalists' Rights also condemned the arrest of Dyako Husen, calling it evidence of a "hateful and aggressive attitude that violates the principles of freedom of expression".

"Policymakers must recognise the undeniable truth that the progress or regression of democracy in the Kurdistan Region is linked to the degree of progress or regression of press freedom, freedom of expression, freedom of access to information and news, and internet freedom," METRO stated.