Iraqi Kurdistan government replies U.S. reports on human rights

ERBIL- pukmedia – 2-3-2014 – :  After Secretary Kerry submitted on February 27, 2014, the 2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices in Iraq and Kurdistan Region, Dr. Dindar Zebari, Chief of Monitoring International Reports Committee of Kurdistan Regional Government had replied the U.S. report.

In a press conference, Zebari said that the U.S. Department of State’s report had mentioned Human Rights practices in Iraq and Kurdistan Region especially the situation with Journalists, Prisoners and religious minorities. Regarding the situations of Journalists, Zebari said that reports of Protecting the Journalists’ Committee had shown a great progress as in 2012 the reports had recorded 63 violations against Journalists and in 2013 the number had decreased to 47 violations. He stressed that the KRG had established committees to monitor the violations against Journalists in Kurdistan Region.

800 Media Institutions in Kurdistan Region containing more than 7000 members, Zebari said that this is the evidence that Journalists in Kurdistan Region which has such great number of media institutions are practicing their free speech rights but also adding that some Journalists act against the security of Kurdistan Region and that Security forces did not arrest any Journalist without the court’s orders.

As for the issue of Protesting in Kurdistan Region, Zebari said that the KRG had issued laws regarding protests and the means to deal with the protesters by the police, the laws had stressed not using violence against the protesters as well for not violating the rights of the protesters. Regarding the issue of torturing prisoners in Kurdistan Region’s prisons, he replied that the Region’s law prevents torturing the prisoners and that the court’s decision is issued within 24 hours. Also stressing the UNAMI had visited 53 prisons in Kurdistan Region, talking to more than 400 prisoners and that is a proof that Kurdistan Region has nothing to hide. Zebari replied on the religious minorities’ rights in Kurdistan Region, that Kurdistan Region had became the safest place for the minorities in Iraq and a home for the Arab Iraqis who left their homes and emigrated to the Region looking for peace. Monitoring International Reports Committee of Kurdistan Regional Government shall issue a briefed reply regarding the 2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.