Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Free Speech Protests in Kurdistan

By NAMO ABDULLA - The New York Times

More than a thousand protesters took to the main street in Erbil, the Kurdish regional capital, to condemn a new law requiring all public demonstrations to have government permits. Protesters said the law was part of a broader crackdown on free speech in Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region. In the past six months, the government has sued at least 60 writers or media organizations for publishing work critical of the government, according to the Kurdistan Journalists’ Syndicate. Aso Karim, a lawmaker with the Kurdistan Democratic Party, said the restrictions were necessary because “Iraq is not politically stable.”

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