Thursday, May 5, 2011

Erbil newspaper office attacked | Misc |

Erbil newspaper office attacked

Governing parties deny assassination claims, as threats to sue fly

Erbil, May 4 (AKnews) – Claims by a newspaper that the governing Kurdish parties plotted to kill the leaders of the opposition have lead to both sides exchanging threats to file law suits against each other.
Ahmed Mira
On May 1, Livin press published an article claiming that the politburos of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) planned for assassinate the leading lights of the three opposition parties.

The opposition has been leading demonstrations against the government, which have been violently repressed, leaving ten dead.

The KDP, led by Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani, issued a statement describing the report as "an imaginary story, a deception, it is based on falsehood. It is just another plan to stir the situation and make political parties distrust each other."

The statement further accused the board of the Kurdish weekly paper of "taking part in agitation, deception and fabrication."

The KDP statement promised legal action against the newspaper.

In an interview with a Gali Kurdistan (a PUK run TV channel), Azad Jundyani, the spokesman for the PUK said his party will also sue the newspaper for what he describes as the "lies" they have told.

Commenting on Jundyani's statement, Editor of the newspaper, Ahmed Mira (pictured), told AKnews that the spokesman has "libeled the paper's staff, disregarding the ethics of journalism and the proper behavior for a politician."

He said the paper will bring a counter suit against Mr Jundyani.

Mr Mira openly supported the anti-government protests that hit Sulaimaniya, one of the three provinces of Kurdistan, in the past two months. The protesters have been calling for reform, the creation of more jobs and the provision of basic service.

Mr Mira said he is confident of legal victory, adding that this is not the first time the newspaper has been prosecuted and it has not lost a case yet.

The opposition in the Kurdistani Parliament has 35 deputies in the 111 seat house. It comprises the Goran (Change) Movement, the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) and the Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG).

The authorities accuses the parties of destabilizing the region by provoking and supporting the protests.

The demonstrations appear to have come to an end as a result of heavy military deployment.

By Wushyar Ahmed and Idris Abubakir.

04/05/2011 14:22