Saturday, 23 February 2013

No Free Speech in Iraq's Kurdistan Region


Presstv – 23.2.2013 –  Criticism of free speech in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region is making headlines recently. Now a professor at one of Kurdistan’s largest universities has been dismissed. Professor Rabun Maroof says officials at Salahaddin University sacked him because he spoke out against Kurdistan Regional Government KRG.

The professor says he was sacked without written notice or explanation. He was under contract and has not been paid for three months’ work. The university’s president declined to comment, but previously said the dismissal is not politically motivated. The government says it’s a paperwork issue.

But Professor Maroof says none of his philosophy colleagues had their qualifications certified. He says he gave his qualifications to the authorities last year and the certification process was almost completed before his dismissal. If he wants his job back he must announce that his dismissal is not politically motivated. The professor studied in the UK and returned to Kurdistan, hoping to develop his home town. But now he says he has now paid the price for his democratic right to free speech. Professor Maroof’s dismissal comes as Human Rights Watch has released this statement, condemning the state of free speech in Kurdistan. The semi-autonomous Kurdish government replied, saying it is committed to freedom of expression and believes Kurdistan’s young democracy is developing stronger credentials day by day.

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