The Democratic Union Party (PYD) has imposed bans on journalists of the pro-Barzani Kurdish media Rudaw in "Cizire canton", the northern Syria's ethnically Kurdish area, known by the PYD as Rojava, according to Rudaw media report.
Rudaw condemned strongly in a statement released on Tuesday, calling the ban “wrong and anti-democratic” and explained that "Rudaw’s journalist teams have always been committed to the journalism laws issued by the administration of Rojava cantons."
“Sadly, the world and Kurdistan are concerned over the narrowing of free media and journalism in [Cizire] canton and other cantons of Rojava,” the statement said.
Rudaw also expressed annoyance of the treatment of its reporters and journalists in the area.
“In the past, many Rudaw journalists who are from Rojava have been arrested and evicted from their homes. [Local authorities] have always hampered Rudaw’s coverage from the PYD cantons, but despite this Rudaw journalists have never reacted in an unprofessional manner,” the statement mentioned.
The PYD said in a statement that, “Rudaw provokes violence and creates tension," as well as "spreading prejudice," but Rudaw denied the allegations and defended its work in Rojava.
"[Rudaw teams] have been more professional than the PYD and PKK media in covering the latest incidents in Rojava, and that is why Rudaw is considered as the most popular media by the people of Rojava. Rudaw has kept a balance between positive and negative developments in that part of Kurdistan,” added the statement.
The statement of Rudaw added that by ”banning Rudaw and its global network, the people of Cizire canton will be voiceless.”
"We are waiting for the PYD in Cizire canton to reconsider the ban and let Rudaw teams start working there again because free speech gives the young generation of western Kurdistan hope for a free life," the statement read.
Rudaw urged the PYD to stop limiting the free press, which makes people feel like "they live in a place like North Korea."