Journalistic freedoms observatory (JFO) denounces the decision of Sulaimaniya courthouse to jail and fine Shwan Dawoodi, editor-in-chief of Hawal newspaper.
Dawoodi has earlier issued in 2004 series of reports asking for the reformation of the judiciary board in Sulaimaniya.
He told JFO that the reason of his imprisonment was because he issued in 2001 and 2002 reports about the campaign of the reformation of the judiciary board, some judges vowed they would seriously treated the issue and asked him to stop writing about it for 6 months. He continued his campaign after finding that the efforts were not as serious as they should be.
Dawoodi is held in the al-Salam camp, 15 km west of Sulaimaniya, used by the former regime, with the flag of Kurdistan on it.
Dawoodi , council member of Kurdistan syndicate, said he disputed with the judge who sentenced him for one month in jail telling "they are still applying the Baath laws". "I objected on the verdict because it is based on the article 433 of the Iraqi penalty law that deals with the defamation charges".
Dawwodi astonished that the prosecutor did not know about the application of the new press law in the region.
The new press law was approved by the parliament of Kurdistan in 22nd of September and by the president Masood Barazani stated not to jail a journalist in cases related to publication. This issue was certified by Barazani when he met with the heads of the media organizations five days after approving the law telling them that " journalists will no more be in jail".
JFO asks the judiciary board of Kurdistan to apply the laws approved by the parliament regarding the journalistic work which stated in its 9th article to fine the journalist and not jail him, and not to apply the Iraqi penalty code. It counts this sentence unjust and asks for immediate release to Dawoodi and to fine him the 300.000 I.D as per article 14 of the new press law. It seems that the judge does not rely on the new press law which was applied after being published in the gazette of Kurdistan in 20th of October.