Metro report on the student demonstrations on its fourth day: The Iraqi constitution does not protect us
The center said in its report, which was received by Shafak News Agency, that "since the middle of today, Wednesday, we have received complaints from 47 journalists who suffered from suffocation, and cases of direct threat amounted to five cases, and 19 cases of prevention from coverage and 15 cases of attacks on media teams, some of which were during the live broadcast.
He added, "For the fourth day in a row, student demonstrations began in the cities of (Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, Halabja, Kalar, Rania, Darbandikhan, Chamchamal, Soran, Khanaqin), emphasizing the same previous demands, and a number of graduates of the past years joined them.
In Erbil, the report says, "students gathered inside Hawler Medical University, where they were prevented from going out to the main street, while dozens of them gathered in front of the Ministry of Higher Education amid an intense security presence and prevented all media professionals from approaching gatherings."
"Nebz Rashad" representative of the Metro Center inside the student gathering in front of the Ministry of Higher Education, said that the security forces prevented media teams from covering and demanded them to stay away from the demonstrations, adding that the media teams Charnews, Rosenews, Lat, Poltech Press, KNN were prevented from covering despite From our intervention, stressing that these forces confiscated dozens of students' mobile phones.
In Sulaymaniyah, the Metro report indicated that university students gathered in front of the old complex of the University of Sulaymaniyah, while hundreds of them gathered in front of the new building of Sulaymaniyah University near the city’s entrance, explaining that the security forces used a plan (encircling) those gatherings and prevented them from reaching the streets. Main.
Journalist Muhammed Jalal, a cameraman for the Turkish Anatolia Agency, said in a live broadcast on his personal page, that dozens of journalists and student demonstrators were surrounded inside the Sulaymaniyah University building, pointing out that there were dozens of cases of suffocation with tear gas.
The report says: Ambulances were seen entering the university building to transport the injured, and requests for ambulances were published for others who were not reached by ambulances.
Speaking to reporters, one of the female students said: We continue in the peaceful demonstrations, stressing that "our demands are simple. We did not ask them to take over the oil wells, while her colleague said that there are parliamentarians who come to the demonstrations to take souvenir photos and go."
The scene of the demonstrations was calmer compared to the demonstrations yesterday, Tuesday, before the security forces fired tear gas at the groups of demonstrators in front of Sulaymaniyah University to prevent them from moving towards the Sulaymaniyah Governorate building and Salem Street, where the headquarters of the power parties are located, according to the report.
In the midst of this atmosphere, the Sulaymaniyah Asayish Directorate announced the detention of one of its members who had kicked a demonstrator, tied by members of the security forces, and a civilian came to kick him in the face.
Yesterday, a video spread widely on social media, showing a young man tied up by a group of honest forces and then receiving a strong kick by a man in city clothes.
The Metro report said: We strongly condemn the harsh treatment of peaceful demonstrators and correspondents of local and international media channels, and we demand urgent investigations to bring perpetrators of human rights to justice.
Rahman Gharib, head of Metro Center, said, in press statements since midday on Wednesday, that the restriction on civil space and freedom of the press is contrary to the Iraqi constitution and the laws in force in the Kurdistan Region, and we have six laws related to media and freedom of opinion and expression, but these laws do not have the ability to protect Journalists, do not protect peaceful protesters.
Gharib pointed out that the security forces repeatedly beat and used electric sticks against male and female journalists, and they are still prevented from covering the demonstrations in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah.
The Metro Center for Defending the Rights of Journalists is an independent non-governmental organization, established in August 2009, in cooperation with the American Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) with the aim of monitoring, defending and protecting the freedom of the press and journalists in the Kurdistan Region.
Since the establishment of the center until today, the Institute of War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), the Norwegian People's Organization (NPA), the Danish International Media Support Organization (IMS), the Gulf Center for Human Rights, and Internews have supported the center.
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