In Support of KurdishMedia.com
The British Justice System
The Public Opinion
The Human Rights Organizations
The Organisations Defending Freedom of Expression and Press
We, the undersigned, as supporters of freedom of press, condemn the decision of the head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in London Ms. Shanaz Ibrahim Ahmed (Jalal Talabani’s sister-in-law) to take KurdishMedia.com to court to shut it down, for republishing a news report critical of the PUK. The lawsuit represents a continuous fight against the freedom of press and expression, which both Kurdish ruling political groups, PUK and KDP pursue in both Kurdistan and now abroad. Their aim is to orchestrate and dominate the flow of information from Kurdistan.
KurdishMedia.com was founded in 1998 by Dr. Rebwar Fatah and his co-workers, whose brother was executed by Saddam’s regime in 1989 for his journalistic work. Now, the PUK is pursuing to silence him, which is an irony that a Kurdish political group is continuing a dreadful legacy of the past Iraqi regime.
KurdishMedia.com is one of the main independent, English-language repositories of news and information about Kurds and Kurdistan, which was established in 1998. While it was impossible to provide news about Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, KurdishMedia.com journalists risked their lives and worked to provide accurate information about Saddam’s regime. The medium became so influential and annoyed the regime to an extent, even Uday Saddam Hussein, the older son of Saddam, threatened to kill one of its journalists.
The prominent international organizations Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) and Amnesty International have reported an ongoing campaign against independent media outlets and individuals who are critical of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Silencing KurdishMedia.com will shut down the platform for most independent intellectuals and writers who are interested in Kurdistan’s affairs. It is independent and non-partisan based, which contributed positively to the development of democracy in Kurdistan and the Western understanding of the region. It must not happen.