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Kurdish Journalist Arrested after Iraqi President’s Complaint

Kurdish journalist and writer Bahroz Jaafer was taken into custody on Tuesday after Iraqi President Barham Salih’s office filed a complaint against him.

Police in Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan Region, arrested Jaafer for his alleged defamatory article titled “How long will the President of the Republic lead on the wrong side?”.

Jaafer, who is the head of the Mediterranean Institute for Regional Studies and a member of the Kirkuk branch of the Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate, claimed in his article that $6 million in government oil funds went missing during Salih’s term as the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) between 2010 to 2012.

The Sulaimani-based Metro Center for Defending Journalists’ Rights has slammed Iraqi President’s complaint against a journalist, saying that Jaafer has been arrested based on the Iraqi Penal Code instead of the KRG’s 2007 Press Law, which allows only for fines in such cases, not imprisonment. Source