Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Investigatores of Kurdish Journalist’s Murder Face Increasing Concern Worldwide

Rudaw News Agency



ERBIL, Iraqi Kurdistan: A committee from the region’s parliament and international rights groups are calling on authorities here in Iraqi Kurdistan to investigate the results found by a government inquiry, accusing a radical Islamic group of murdering a journalist more than 4 months ago.

These results, published more than a week ago by an “Investigative Committee” formed by the region’s president, Massoud Barzani, have not been satisfactory for many people including the family, many journalists and prominent newspapers and authors.

They said Sardasht Osman, 23, a critical journalist of the alleged corruption and nepotism of the leaders of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), was murdered by Ansar al-Islam, a Sunni radical group, after he refused to carry out a work he had promised.

The results were published more than a week ago by an “Investigative Committee” formed by the region’s president, Massoud Barzani, almost a week after the abduction and murder of the disparaging journalist Sardasht Osman in the early days of May.

Osman was abducted on May 4 in front his college gate in the tightly secure city of Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan, and found dead in Mosul the day after.

But now as people are increasingly disapproving the committee’s results, the Interior Committee of the Kurdistan Parliament regional has called on the committee to provide a better clarification about their findings for the public.

"Members of interior committee want those who have made the investigation to come to the Parliament. They have to clarify the investigation process,” Shirdel Tahsin, head of the Parliament’s Interior Committee.

In a highly disapproving statement, The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) issued a statement titled “Investigation of Kurdish Journalist’s Murder Lacks Credibility.”

“The Committee to Protect Journalists is dismayed by the deficient inquiry and calls on Kurdish authorities to conduct a thorough and credible investigation into Osman's death,” read the statement.

Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator said: "We expected more than a 430-word report that makes wildly improbable claims and fails to substantiate them. We strongly urge the KRG to launch a new and credible investigation into the murder of our colleague."

Other world rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders have issued similar statements demanding a more transparent and impartial investigation into the murder.

Bakir Osman, a brother of the murdered writer, says that his family will be in danger following the publication “false” finding that has linked Osman to an extremist Islamic organization.

"Whoever that knew Zardasht or read a few lines of his articles knows too well that Zardasht was a secular person," said Osman, the brother.

"The truth is that Zardasht was a journalist and assassinated because of his journalistic work and critics of the injustice of the Kurdish society."