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Kurdish journalist concerned about safety

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date 19 June 2009
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Kurdish journalist concerned about safety, 19 June 2009, available at: [accessed 23 November 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

New York, June 19, 2009 – A journalist in the Iraqi Kurdistan town of Dukan said he is concerned about his safety after a confrontation with a security officer for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) on Tuesday evening.

Goran Dukani, a reporter for the independent daily Hawlati and the bilingual Kurdish-Arabic Radio Nawa, told CPJ that Capt. Mahmood Jaf, the chief security officer for the PUK's Dukan office, came to his house and was armed. Dukani, who said he left when neighbors intervened, said he notified authorities because he considered the visit to be intimidating.

Contacted today, Jaf told CPJ that he went to the reporter's home to discuss a difference in opinion about an earlier story. He said he did not threaten the reporter.

Both Dukani and Jaf said the episode was rooted in a May 28 Hawlati article about a knife attack against a PUK security officer in Dukan, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) north of Sulaymania. Dukani tried to interview Jaf, who said he had been instructed by a supervisor not to comment. Dukani said he cited Jaf's response in the story. In a subsequent phone conversation, Jaf complained about the use of his name in the story and said he would file a lawsuit, both parties said. Jaf said no lawsuit was actually filed.

Dukani said he was concerned enough by the phone conversation to file his own lawsuit against Jaf on Sunday, seeking a protective order. Dukani said Jaf had made threatening statements, an assertion Jaf denied.

June 19, 2009 12:48 PM ET

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