The Association for Defense of Press Freedom in Iraq has condemned the block of NRT channel’s local broadcast, expressing support for freedom of speech and media in the Kurdistan Region.

"It views the measure as a clear violation of the Constitution and Iraqi law, and of local laws passed by the Parliament of the Kurdish Region of Iraq,” the press advocacy said in a statement posted on the website of the Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative.

The association called the stoppage of NRT’s local broadcast a "clear violation” of the constitutional laws passed by the legislature of the Kurdistan Region, which is facing a stalemate.

"The Association calls on the KRG [Kurdistan Regional Government] to end this harassment of the media, and appeals to international organizations to support freedom of expression and a free press in the Kurdish region,” the association added.

The association said "[its] appeals to the Iraqi federal government to intervene on behalf of a free press have all failed.”

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) halted local broadcast from the channel NRT through the Directorate of Media, Printing and Publications in Erbil.

The local broadcast from NRT channel was halted due to an order from Masoud Barzani through the Erbil Directorate of media, Printing and Publications for a week. The block is also intended to apply to the zone controlled by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

"According to order number 619 in August 28, 2014 of the Directorate of Media, Printing and Publications in Erbil, the Directorate-General of Media, Printing and Publications and the Ministry of Culture and Youth, as well as according to instruction No. 1 of 2014 Space Frequency Arrangement of the Kurdistan Region, Article 5, number 2, contumacy  A in term 2 of article 3/ the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, it is decided to halt the broadcast of channel NRT from DVBT/T2 for a week,” a statement by the directorate said.

The stoppage came a few days after Kurdish security forces (Asayish) affiliated with the KDP shut down an NRT TV channel’s studio on August 22 where the broadcast of an outgoing program on the Kurdistan referendum was set to take place.