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CPJ: Impunity Plagues Cases of Journalists in Kurdistan and Iraq

01/06/2011 04:43:00  By WLADIMIR VAN WILGENBURG    at Rudow

ERBIL, Iraqi Kurdistan — In a report released on June 1, Iraq is ranked first on the 2011 impunity index of the Committee to Project Journalists (CPJ). CPJ criticizes the Kurdish government for its unsatisfactory handling of the murder case of Kurdish writer Sardasht Osman in 2010.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has come in for fierce criticism by human rights and press organizations such as Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), CPJ and Human Rights Watch in the last few months for the way it dealt with demonstrations and the media.

On May 30, the KRG responded to the allegations and didn’t deny violations by Kurdish security forces and ill-treatment of protestors.

“We can assure you, however, that these incidents have occurred despite KRG’s clear directives for strict adherence to the law and the rights of the protesters,” the KRG said in the statement.

CPJ’s impunity index includes Kurdistan and Iraq. The Index examines journalist murders that have occurred between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2010 and are still unsolved. Only those nations with five or more unsolved cases are included on the index, a threshold reached by 12 countries this year.

According to CPJ 93 journalists have been murdered in Iraq with their cases still unsolved. After a brief decline in targeted killings, journalist murders spiked in 2010. Among the four murder victims in 2010 was Sardasht Osman, a contributor to several news outlets in the Kurdistan region who had received numerous threats for reports that accused Kurdish officials of corruption, CPJ said.

Please read the entire article here

June 1, 2011 - Posted by | Civilian Casualties, Iraq, Journalists | , ,

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