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Director of state-run television station kidnapped beaten in Kurdistan

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders has condemned an assault on the head of public satellite television Newroz, Azad Arkuchi, after he was ambushed near Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan, by armed men in a police car who wore military uniforms.

Arkuchi's vehicle was brought to a halt by two vehicles on 1 July 2008 and his abductors bound his hands and blindfolded him before taking him to an unknown destination where he was beaten. He was left on the road late at night, suffering from bruising to his body.

The television station of which he is the director comes under the culture ministry in the regional government of Kurdistan.

"We call for an investigation to be opened without delay to catch those involved in this assault and to discover what role may have been played by members of the local," the worldwide press freedom organisation said. "Another journalist was kidnapped for several hours in the same way in Erbil more than a year ago. His assailants have never been identified."

In April 2007, Nabaz Goran, who worked for several media, including the daily, "Hawlati" was snatched by men wearing military uniforms, driven out of the city and beaten with sticks and hoses before being released a few hours later.

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