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Authorities Overturn Dawoodi's Sentence

After ten days in jail, Shwan Dawoodi, Hawal newspaper editor-in-chief who published reports criticizing the judicial system in the region, was released by the judicial authorities of Kurdistan.

Dawoodi, released this morning, told the journalistic freedoms observatory (JFO) that the court of appeal "fined against me and released me as per the new press law recently approved in the region".

 He was imprisoned because of the reports he published about the reformation of the judicial system in 2001 and 2002. Some judges vowed they would seriously treat the issue and asked him to stop writing about it for 6 months. He continued his campaign in 2003 after finding that the efforts were not as serious as they should be.

He was sentenced according to article 433 of Iraqi penalty code which deals with defamation and intensifies the punishment against the media outlets.

JFO has earlier objected on this article and conviction and asked the authorities to stop applying it on the journalists; it asked to apply the new press law approved in September, 22, 2008 by both the parliament and president Masood al-Barazani. It bans jailing the journalists in cases related to publication.

JFO welcomes and greets the release of Shwan Dawoodi and asks the authorities in Kurdistan to draft as many laws as possible to provide immunity to the journalists and do not violate their security and personal dignity.

translated in cooperation with "reporters with out borders" organization.




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