The Iraqi National Syndicate of Journalists has condemned the arrest of KirkukNow correspondent Karwan Salehi and NRT team in Kirkuk while covering the unrest which broke out on Tuesday May 14 in a village in northwestern Kirkuk.
Karwan Salehi was arrested in Palkana, a village in northwestern Kirkuk’s Dubz district where tensions broke out over agricultural land ownership claims between Kurdish villagers and Arab settlers who were brought from mid and southern parts of Iraq to the area during the rule of the former Ba’th regime.
He was released on bail the same day at 8.30 p.m. after 6 hours of interrogations.
The journalists syndicate in a statement published on its formal website denounced the arrest of journalists and held Kirkuk’s Operations command and other relevant security departments accountable for their safety.
Citing KirkukNow media outlet management board, the statement indicated that an Iraqi army contingent on Tuesday May 14 arrested KirkukNow correspondent Karwan Salehi along with Aso Ahmed NRT correspondent and his cameraman in Palkan village in Dubz district.
Karwan Salehi is regarded as one of the highly successful journalists in Kirkuk and has been working with KirkukNow since its establishment.
KirkukNow is licensed by both the Iraqi and Kurdistan Region Journalists Syndicate and is formally registered as an electronic website in the Kirkuk administration.
The arrests took place as the journalists were covering developments in a dispute that broke out between Kurds and Arabs over land ownership claims in the area.
According to eyewitnesses Iraqi army troops arrived at the scene to end tension, indicating that a number of locals were arrested from both sides.