KirkukNow freelancer Karwan Salehi along with NRT reporter Aso Ahmed and cameraman Hawta Bahroz on Wednesday, May 15, stood before an investigative court in Dubiz district northwest of Kirkuk, a day after they were detained by an Iraqi army force for about 6 hours.
The three journalists were brought to court for allegedly entering a banned military zone.
The arrests took place despite that the jorurnalists passed through regular checkpoints towards Palkana village in Sargarran sub-district; moreover, the populated area has not been declared as a military zone by the Iraqi army.
The journalists were covering developments in Palkana village between Kurdish villagers and Arabs over agricultural land ownership claims when they were arrested.
Work environment for journalists in Kirkuk should be improved
Salam Omer, KirkukNow editor-in-chef who also attended the court hearing expressed concern over the way some military commanders and security departments treat journalists and called for “improving work environment for journalists in Kirkuk and the area.”
He thanked some other security authorities for their cooperation and support to the journalists while in they were detained.
Meanwhile, the Kirkuk office of Iraqi journalists syndicate, in a statement, denounced violations against journalists by security forces and threatened to file lawsuits and stage protests.
Karwan Salehi was arrested at 2.45 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14 during the coverage of the tensions in Palkana village northwest of Kirkuk and after interrogations he was released on bail the same day at 8.30 p.m.