Committee to Protect Journalists – Iraqi Kurdish journalist Omed Barokshky charged with defamation over Facebook post

File photo (Utsav Srestha/Unsplash)

Kurdish journalist Omed Barokshky has been arrested on charges of defamation, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has reported.

His arrest stemmed from a lawsuit filed by Zirka prison authorities over a Facebook post in which Barokshky stated that a Kurdish prisoner, Mala Nazir, had been kidnapped from the prison, CPJ reported citing Barokshky’s lawyer.

Barokshky is now awaiting trial for violation of Kurdistan’s Misuse of Communication Devices law. This law has repeatedly been used to target journalists in the region, according to the CPJ. Barokshky previously spent 18 months in jail from 2020 to 2022 after he published social media posts criticising Kurdish authorities.

Barokshky’s arrest comes following concerns from the US Consulate in Erbil over the “recent backsliding” of press freedom in the Kurdistan Region.