Campaign against suppression of Freedom of Expression in Kurdistan

Submitted by martin on 29 May, 2012 - 10:30

Your support needed to prevent the suppression of Freedom of Expression in Iraqi Kurdistan!

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.

We call upon the entire international human rights organizations

All those who defend the rights of journalist, all political parties, parliament members and freedom loving figures:

Support us in our campaign to prevent the suppression and violation of Freedom of Expression in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Earlier this month and after a preplanned scenario in Arbil by KDP assisted by a number of religious clerics, the Prime Minster of Kurdish Regional Government welcomed a suggestion from anti-freedom forces for a new law restricting freedoms of expression. The Committee for Endowment Affairs in Kurdistan Parliament immediately proposed a Bill (Protection for sanctities of religion) which imposes a prison term from 6 months to 5 years and a fine 10,000000 to 18,000000 Iraqi Dinars against writers and the publishers of any materials critical to any religion, as well as the closure of the media channel which publishes materials of this kind.

The aim of such proposals is nothing but to silence the voices of people in Kurdistan who began to protest since 17th February 2011against corruption, poverty and unemployment. Furthermore this event coincided with the second anniversary of the murder of Mr. Sardasht Osman - a young journalist, who was kidnapped in Arbil and later found dead on 5th May 2010.

Such law is obviously oppressive and is an imitation of religious laws, which have been imposed under Extreme religious Islamic regimes like Iran and Saudi Arabia. This type of law is reproducing dictatorship under the banner of protecting religion. Authorities in Kurdistan, who are challenged by growing objection by the people opposed to corruptions and misusing of power, try to use this law to back up their anti-democratic repressive policies.

The under-signed organisations and groups representing thousands of freedom loving people in and outside Iraqi Kurdistan appeal to you to support our campaign in preventing any legal restrictions on Freedom of Expression in Kurdistan, and urge you to:

1. Send letters of protest to the Kurdish Regional Parliament, The Kurdish Regional Government officials, and the President of Kurdish Region in Iraq to stop their support and backing of such anti-democratic law.

2. Condemn the vicious attacks on writers, journalists and freedom loving people, and urge the KRG officials protect and respect basic human rights such as Freedom of Expression and political freedoms in Kurdistan.

Your support to this campaign in defending the right to Freedom of Expression for people in Iraqi Kurdistan will demonstrate your commitment to defend the Human Rights of all humans.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.


The Campaign against suppression of Freedom of Expression in Kurdistan
Affiliated by:
International Federation of Iraqi Refugees
Freedom Umbrella – a Kurdish human rights action group in the UK
Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq- Abroad representation
Nina Centre for Women – Sweden
Kurdish and Middle Eastern Women organisation – UK
Freedom Cell – a Kurdish human right’s action group Netherland
17th February Group – a human rights action group in Sweden
350 journalists, politicians, human rights activists and freedom loving people in Kurdistan and abroad

Please send your letter to KRG representatives:
KRG Representation in the United Kingdom
Representative: Ms Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman
23 Buckingham Gate (4th Floor), London SW1E 6LB
Phone: +44 (0) 203 301 8340
Fax: +44 (0) 207 828 0257
KRG Representation in the USA
Representative: Mr Qubad Talabani 
1532 16th St., NW 
Washington, DC 20036 
Phone:+1 202 797 7575 
Fax: +1 202 821 1870 

Contact the campaign:

Tel: 00447894252708 or 00447760131203

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