Statement from Kurdistan 24 Company for Media and Research Ltd.
On Sunday, June 20, 2021, security forces belonging to the Democratic Union Party (PYD) forcibly shut down the Kurdistan 24 regional bureau in northeast Syria (Rojava). This act directly undermines our reporting and the hard work of our journalists, who give a voice to the people of the region. Kurdistan 24 has reported on the situation in Rojava impartially and professionally; hindering our work is in violation of press freedom.
As a trusted local institution, Kurdistan 24 has promoted and given visibility to issues of great importance to us and the people of Kurdistan, such as the coverage of the attacks on Afrin, Ras al-Ayn (Serê Kaniyê), and Tel Abyad (Girê Spî). Major news organizations around the world relied on our reliable coverage of the conflict in Rojava to give accurate reporting to a global audience.
The shutting down of the Kurdistan 24 Rojava bureau is a blatant violation of media freedom and a worrisome sign of the Rojava authorities' disregard for press freedom, as well as an attempt to suppress views they oppose.
We recognize that Rojava officials—who understand Kurdistan 24's message of social unity and reconciliation in Rojava—may very well have been pressured by influential groups in the area to shut down our bureau.
We call on human rights organizations, media institutions, and press freedom watchdogs, as well as the International Federation of Journalists, the United Nations, the international community, and the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, to stand against this unjustified and unwarranted act. We urge defenders of free speech and our allies to push the Autonomous Administration of Northern and Eastern Syria to reverse their decision.