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Safety in northern Iraq

Thinking about doing some work on Kurds in northern Iraq. How safe is it, mainly in Mosul, Arbil and to the north of there? Most statements i here coming out of there is that it is calm and about as safe as most areas in the Mid East for foreigners. Is this the reality on the ground?

by David Holland at 2006-09-23 12:04:15 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Istanbul , Turkey | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Hi David
I just read an article in a very reputable (in russia) russian mag written by a journolist who spent two weeks in a prison in Erbille (in a cell 6 by 7 meters with 85 other people) for a formal reason of not having a Kurdistan visa. He went in from Turkey as a tourist and was stopped by US troops which checked him and treated him very well. After they let him go he was arrested by local police and after a few days of interogations at Dakhuk? police station sent to prison in Erbille. This prison is packed with foreigners mostly from Arabic countries (Egypt, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Turks, Syria) but in one of the cells he have seen some guy from Germany who is doing his third month. Most people were jailed for not having the visa of Kurdisatn which the border gards sometimes forget to stamp at the border. He also says it’s a good idea not to use taxi as taxis are stopped and searched through at every checkpoint while local Kurdistan cars pass unchecked.

Hope this is helpful to you

by [former member] | 23 Sep 2006 13:09 | moscow, Russia | | Report spam→
Ditto – my friend passed through the turkey border without problems and was then arrested and detained in erbil for 2 weeks until he was sprung by US marines following a random red cross prison visit. The conditions were as above and he wasnt able to contact embassy/red cross etc.

by Adam Dean | 23 Sep 2006 14:09 | Dalian, China | | Report spam→
Gosh. I’ve never had any trouble at all. Having a US passport certainly helps, and a big shiny press card, too. I didn’t lose my Kurdish visa…it wasn’t a stamp, it’s a slip of paper (recently), easily lost from the passport.

Again, being an American certainly makes a big difference.

by David Gross | 24 Sep 2006 07:09 | Istanbul, Turkey | | Report spam→
Well it is safe and secure , I know one french journalist returned few days ago..
Good luck…

by Yasar | 03 Nov 2006 15:11 | istanbul, Turkey | | Report spam→
Just have all your ducks in a row before you go. Make color copies of your passport (I laminate the copies too). Don’t let them stamp your passport on the way in- have it done on a slip of paper. You do not want a Kurdistan stamp in your passport if you travel in and out of Turkey in the future.

by David Honl | 03 Nov 2006 16:11 | Istanbul, Turkey | | Report spam→
I had no problems going in to Kurdistan at all. Coming back into Turkey was a bit more of a process. Lots of questions and I had show them every photo on my CF card —luckily it was all friendly school children. I didn’t venture into Mosul but I felt fine in Dohuk, Zhako, Arbil, and Souleymaniye. It helps if you know people there, it gets you through the checkpoints a lot easier quicker

That said, I also spoke with a Turk who claims his brother in law is a journalist imprisoned without cause in Northern Iraq.

by Jennifer Chase | 04 Nov 2006 08:11 | dakar, Senegal | | Report spam→

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Participants

David Holland, Photographer David Holland
Photographer
(Curious photographer)
London , United Kingdom
Adam Dean, Freelance Photographer Adam Dean
Freelance Photographer
(Panos Pictures)
Beijing , China
David Gross, Photographer David Gross
Photographer
Los Gatos , United States ( SJO )
Yasar, Cameraman , producer Yasar
Cameraman , producer
Istanbul , Turkey
David Honl, photographer David Honl
photographer
Bali , Indonesia
Jennifer Chase, Jennifer Chase
Washington, Dc , United States


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