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Rudaw condemns attack on its journalist in Rojava

By Rudaw 22/9/2016

Following is the full statement from Rudaw Media Network:


On 22 September 2016 the security forces from the Western Kurdistan (Rojava) prevented Rudaw’s journalist Rengin Shero from visiting her parents and her relatives in Dugrga village, near the town of Grke Lage, in Hasakah province.

The renowned journalist, Rengin Shero, crossed the Pishxapur-Simalka border crossing from the Southern Kurdistan (Iraqi Kurdistan) to Western Kurdistan solely in order to visit her family, not for any journalistic work. The border officials, from Rojava’s Cizre Canton, finished her paperwork and she was picked up by her father.  

However, as she reached the bus station she was summoned by the Asayish (security forces) from the Cizre Canton, they told her that she should not visit the Western Kurdistan and told her to go back to Southern Kurdistan. Meanwhile, the security forces used abusive language against her and Rudaw’s work.

As Rengin Shero told them that she did not want to go back to Southern Kurdistan, since she followed the correct procedures to cross the border to visit her family, a male Asayish and a number of female Asayish members from the Cizre Canton attacked her. They tore her clothes and were very violent with her, even though they knew she was pregnant.

“For God’s sake, and for the sake of the Prophet please don’t do this to my daughter, don’t stop her,” Shero’s father was heard saying while crying and asking the officials to stop. But the officials told him “we do not know God or the Prophet”.

They then sent Shero back to Southern Kurdistan via boat.

Rudaw Media Network strongly condemns this attack. Rengin Shero, as a journalist, as a pregnant woman and as a citizen of the Western Kurdistan, does not deserve to be beaten, humiliated and banned from visiting her family and her birthplace. Unfortunately, this is not the first time the journalists from Rudaw Media Network in Western Kurdistan have faced violence and humiliation. It is clear that Rudow's journalists are paying the price for their professionalism in reporting events in Rojava.

Rudaw Media Network calls on Kurdistan and international organizations who work on protecting human rights, the rights of journalists, freedom of expression and the rights of women and children to raise their concerns against this violation and violence and to put pressure on the officials in the Rojava cantons to put a limit on the harassment and violence journalists face in Rojava.

We also remind everyone that it has been more than a year that Rudaw Media Network has been barred from reporting in the Western Kurdistan based on a decision from the cantons in the Rojava administration, even though Rudaw abided by all the procedures there.

Rudaw Media Network calls on the officials of the Rojava cantons to condemn this harassment by its security forces. Instead of putting obstacles in place the Rojava administration should let the journalists work freely in Western Kurdistan and should not ban journalists from practicing their very basic right of visiting their family.

Rudaw Media Network
22 September 2016

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