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Kurdish journalist arrested in Iraq after social media posts

IRAQI journalists and human rights organsations have demanded the immediate release of Haimen Mamand, who was detained after making social media posts critical of the Kurdish Regional Government’s (KRG) response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The National Union of Journalists of Iraq (Nuji) co-signed a letter with other groups, including the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights, calling on the KRG to respect freedom of the press as enshrined in the country’s constitution.

Mr Mamand was first arrested last month after a Facebook post criticising the KRG for delaying payment of public workers’ salaries and other measures taken during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He was released on bail after 10 days behind bars and said: “Every time I get arrested, I feel like I have a PhD in freedom.”

But after a statement he made to the NRT satellite station the following day, police stormed his home in Erbil and arrested him again.

Authorities extended his period of detention on April 22, Kurdish Journalists Day

It is the fifth time the Kurdish Regional Journalists Union member has been arrested for his journalistic activities and expressing his opinion.

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