Independent news broadcast closed

CPT met with the Director of Media for NRT TV, Awat Ali, in Slemani city. He shared the stories about what happened to NRT TV. Since NRT started they have faced serious problems. NRT is an independent media outlet in Kurdistan owned by Nalia Company. In the past they have had their TV station burned and employees have received threats. He mentioned to us that the owner of their Company, Shaswar Adulwahid, faced an unsuccessful assassination attempt due to NRTs struggle for media neutrality and freedom of expression.

During his time with CPT, Awat focused on the recent targets on their media in Duhok city. After the ‘’No for Now’’ movement started their office in Duhok was attacked. After the attack employees have been afraid to return to their normal schedules resulting in only a couple main reporters covering news for NRT in the Duhok area.

The owner of Nalia Company, Shaswar Adulwahid is currently supporting the ‘’No for Now’’ campaign for the upcoming referendum on September 25th, 2017. The NRT representative told CPT that due to the neutrality of NRT, they have created space for both the Yes and the NO sides to freely express their opinion on the slated referendum. Government officials closed NRT for seven days during the last week of August, 2017 because NRT aired adds related to the No For Now Movement. Furthermore, two months ago, Awat Ali was arrested and imprisoned in Kalar city for two days. The main reason behind his imprisonment was that he published a government document about land that was taken by an official.

Awat Ali continued by stating that NRT and its employees are continuously targeted by the security forces. According to the Law of journalism and media, the journalists and TV stations are not supposed to be targeted. We hope that the government adheres to the legislation and respects the rights of journalists and media.