Reporters Without Borders denounces decision to close Kurdistan 24 office in northeast Syria

Kurdistan 24 headquarters in the Kurdistan Region’s capital of Erbil. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)
Kurdistan 24 headquarters in the Kurdistan Region’s capital of Erbil. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – International media rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Monday denounced the decision of local authorities in northeast Syria to close Kurdistan 24’s local news bureau on the previous day.

On Sunday Security forces belonging to the Democratic Union Party (PYD) forcibly shut down Kurdistan 24's regional office in the city of Qamishlo.

RSF said on Twitter that it deplores the decision of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) to ban the work of the media outlet “without a valid reason.”

“The authorities of the region, which claim to be democratic, must let the media operate without restrictions!” the statement added.

Earlier, two prominent media watchdogs in northeast Syria (Rojava) condemned the decision of the Kurdish-led autonomous administration to close the office.

Read More: Syrian Kurdish media watchdogs condemn closure of K24 office in Rojava

Kurdistan 24 itself has condemned the closure of its bureau, saying in a statement Sunday arguing that the action was “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.”

Read More: Statement from Kurdistan 24 Company for Media and Research Ltd.

“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,” it continued.

Kurdistan 24’s office in Rojava was previously temporarily closed by the local administration in September 2019.

Editing by John J. Catherine