INternational federation of Iraqi Refugees (IFIR) held a seminar on the 8 August to commemorate the third anniversary of Widad Hussein’s murder. The event was hosted by Dashty Jamal IFIR secretary. IFIR invited two speakers from Kurdistan Diari Mhamed head of the Metro centre and Kurdish Journalist Zhalla Muhammad.
The meeting opened with one minutes silence for Widad and all of those who have died defending freedom of speech. Dashty Jamal welcomed everyone to the meeting and stated that Widad and other journalists murdered in recent years were not random acts but politically motivated by the ruling parties in the Iraqi area of Kurdistan. IFIR activists will not rest until the people responsible for Widad and other activists are prosecuted in a public court.
Zhalla spoke about the difficulties facing journalists including laws and attitudes against press freedom. She also spoke about the hostile environment against journalists and the lack of financial support. She finished by appealing to the audience to all they could to support freedom of expression in the Kurdish region of Iraq.
Diari spoke about the activities of the Metro centre in particular their work protecting journalists and their right to freedom of expression. He talked about the dangers preventing freedom of expression and the threats that journalists continue to face.
In the second part of the seminar the audience were invited to put questions to Zhala and Diary. The audience asked a wide range of questions about the current political situation and freedom of expression in Kurdistan.
Diari and Zhalla summed up by saying that the murder of any journalist was an act of terror that must be condemned. The memory of Widad must remain alive in the memory of all Kurdish people until justice is achieved for him and all other murdered journalists