Two journalists with the Bwar News Agency were detained in the Kurdistan region of Iraq on the road connecting the governorates of Erbil and Sulaymaniyah.
It has been confirmed that two of the agency's staff, specifically editor-in-chief Sarteeb Weisi Qashqai and news editor Ibrahim Ali, have been arrested by the Security Directorate in Sulaymaniyah," a source from Bwar Agency told the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory "JFO" on the condition of anonymity.
According to the source, "a lawyer was appointed to defend them and release them on bail, as well as to find out the details of the arrest and its unknown reasons, especially since this is not the first time Sarteeb Wessi and Ibrahim Ali prepare press reports in the city of Sulaymaniyah."
A statement released by Bwar news Agency read as follows: "On Sunday afternoon 10/10/2022, Sarteeb Qashqai and Ibrahim Ali left Erbil to work as a journalist in the city center of Sulaymaniyah, and they were supposed to return to Erbil in the evening, but unfortunately, from then (6 pm) until this statement was published this Monday morning, their cell phone numbers were closed, and we were unable to reach them."
The agency held the three presidencies and institutions of the Kurdistan region "responsible for the disappearance and safety of journalists."
The Journalistic Freedoms Observatory (JFO) requests that the authorities disclose the circumstances surrounding the disappearance or arrest of journalists Sarteeb Wasi and Ibrahim Ali and the legal basis for the detention.
JFO also calls on the security forces and judicial courts in the Kurdistan region to act by the laws in force in the Kurdistan region, which guarantee freedom of the press and expression and respect for the democratic system and stresses the need to stop following bureaucratic procedures that impede the work of the media, as well as to avoid arresting journalists and detaining them arbitrarily on unclear charges.