Kurdistan Regional Government
SAT, 16 FEB 2019 17:04 Erbil, GMT +3

President Barzani to ask parliament to reconsider media law

THU, 20 DEC 2007 16:05 | KRG Cabinet

Erbil, Kurdistan – Iraq (KRG.org) – Mr Masoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region, yesterday told a delegation from the Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate (KJS) that he would ask Kurdistan’s parliament to reconsider a new media law that it recently approved. He pledged to send it back to parliament for revision.

President Barzani also met representatives of the media centres of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). He told them that he supports the media’s role and its right to give the government constructive criticism.

He said, “Kurds have sacrificed their lives for freedom, and I fully support the media’s right to criticise the government. I reject any law that is against the journalists’ fundamental rights. But criticism should be constructive and there needs to be a balance between freedom of expression and restricting harmful defamation of individuals.”

Mr Barzani said that the media law needs further consideration by the Kurdistan National Assembly (KNA), the Region’s parliament, which approved the law on 11 December.

The KNA consulted journalists when drafting the new media law, replacing a Ba’athist era media law in which defamation was a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment. In line with press laws in many Western countries, the new law imposes fines for defamation and other offences. Critics of the law say they are concerned that it contains vague prohibitions that are open to abuse. President Barzani said that he will ask Kurdistan's parliament to look at the new law again.

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