Zmnako Ismael

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Freelance photographer and videographer Zmnako Ismael (left) is seen covering the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo via Ismael)

Journalists in Iraqi Kurdistan tell CPJ of obstruction and opportunities covering COVID-19

On May 10, Saman Barzinji, the health minister of the Iraqi Kurdistan regional government, announced that the COVID-19 pandemic no longer posed a threat to the region, and that the area would gradually reopen, according to news reports.

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A member of the Asayish is seen in Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan, on May 13, 2018. Asayish forces in Sulaymaniyah recently detained freelance journalist Zmnako Ismael. (Reuters/Ako Rasheed)

Kurdish intelligence officers detain photojournalist in Iraqi Kurdistan

On July 9, 2019, in the city of Sulaymaniyah, in Iraqi Kurdistan, Kurdish security forces detained and questioned freelance photojournalist Zmnako Ismael for more than an hour while he was covering the funeral of Diyar Gharib Mohammed, a senior leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party militant group, according to local news reports and Ismael, who…

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