Christian Journalists in Iraq Subjected to Death Threats, Violence in Kurdistan Region

By MidEast Christian News
A Christian activist from the predominantly Christian area of Ankawa, Erbil, in the capital of the Kurdistan Region in Iraq, has revealed that journalist Jinan Bolous, editor-in-chief of Beth Ankawa, a local newspaper, was recently threatened – setting a dangerous precedent in the volatile region.

“This threat came to the journalist in a text message sent by an unknown person via a mobile phone with a number of Asiacell Corporation about a month ago after she published an article in the newspaper,” the activist, who preferred anonymity, told Mideast Christian News.

The source added that the police are still investigating the matter related to the circumstances of the threat.

There have been calls to amend a number of paragraphs related to the laws that protect the rights of journalists in the region because activists insist that the current laws do not meet the most basic rights needed for the media to function, but rather hampers their movement and reduces the freedom of journalists to exercise free speech.

It should be noted that the commission on defense of the rights of journalists in the Journalists Association of Kurdistan has been issuing semi-annual reports on the most important events, violations and problems faced by journalists in Kurdistan.

In its 11th semi-annual report on the situation of the press in the region, the association recognized more than 40 incidents involving journalists in the region during the first half of this year.

The infringements included arrests, beatings, prevention of coverage, death threats and imposition of fines. The association condemned the violations and demanded territorial authorities work to stop them.