SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Co-president Bafel Talabani said on Sunday the situation which has been created in Badinan region is “not acceptable”, adding that the party is concerned about the situation of freedom of expression and journalism there.
Talabani said during a meeting with families of journalists and activists detained in Duhok last year that public freedoms had been restricted in Badinan region and that activists, journalists, authors, teachers and followers of other parties had been imprisoned for “saying the truth and calling for their rights”, his press office said in a statement.
“That has shown a bad picture of the Kurdistan Region, especially the Badinan region, to the international community and the human rights organizations, and we are criticized publicly,” Talabani said.
“The situation which has been created in the Badinan region is not acceptable in any way, and we won’t allow the law to be the shadow of covering up these violations,” he added.
Talabani further said criticism would not harm the Region’s democracy and reputation but would destroy the Kurdistan Region’s experience.
“Imprisonment and suppression of different views are interference in the judicial power and the creation of scenario and accusations in the name of courts,” he noted.
The PUK “is concerned about the situation of freedom of expression and media works in the Badinan region and we are against the imprisonment of journalists for saying truths, brave pen holders for defending public rights, activists for advancing people’s rights, teachers for calling for their livings, and other people on political freedoms and different views”, according to the statement.
“These behaviors belong to the autocratic and self-imposed parties, that don’t match the experience of democracy and human rights in the Region. Therefore, we have called for an end to this unusual situation in Badinan and for the courts to be prevented from engaging in political conflicts and for the party to decide on these cases,” he continued.