Press watchdog calls on Kurdish-led region in Syria to lift ban on Kurdistan 24
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Wednesday called on the Kurdish-led administration in northeastern Syria to retract a recent ban on Kurdistan 24 and its journalists in the region.
“[W]e urge the local administration to rescind this unilateral decision” after learning that “Syrian Kurdish authorities had removed the working license” of Kurdistan 24 and banned its “journalists from working in the region,” RSF said on its Twitter page.
Kurdistan 24 has been operating in the de facto autonomous region, which is run by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) since 2015. The media organization was actively reporting on the Turkish occupation of Afrin on the ground.
It was also present for the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF)—the military wing of the SDC—liberation of Manbij from the so-called Islamic State, as well others towns.
On Monday, Kurdistan 24 Company for Media and Research issued a statement regarding the recent ban on its operations in the region, protesting the decision to shutter its office and calling the move “political.”
During the years of its operations in the area, “our team of journalists and staff had, on numerous occasions, put their lives in danger to cover the conflicts and the dire situation in the area, and became a reliable source for international media and agencies,” Kurdistan 24 said in its statement.
However, “in the last month or so, and based on decisions from some officials in the local administration of Western Kurdistan (Northern Syria), the network has been banned from working in the region. The officials have also seized and suspended our working license in the Syrian Kurdistan region.”
Editing by Nadia Riva