Human Rights Watch29/10/2010
(New York) - Journalists in Southern Kurdistan who criticize the regional government have faced substantial violence, threats, and lawsuits in recent months, and some have fled the country, Human Rights Watch reported today.
Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government needs to ensure an independent and transparent inquiry into the killing of journalist Sardasht Osman in May 2010, that will lead to the identification and prosecution of all those responsible, Human Rights Watch said. An investigation by an anonymous committee appointed by President Masoud Barzani did not substantiate its findings, Human Rights Watch added.
"This secret investigation into Sardasht Osman's murder is exactly the opposite of what's needed," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "The Kurdistan government needs to get to the bottom of this killing with an open and independent inquiry that will include looking into allegations of government involvement."
The anonymous inquiry concluded that an Islamist armed group, Ansar al-Islam, was responsible for Osman's abduction and murder after he wrote articles criticizing government officials, including the regional government's president. The committee's 430-word statement did not substantiate its findings beyond referring to a confession from one of the alleged perpetrators. The identity of the committee members remains secret, and the committee did not interview Osman's family or those close to him. Since the release of the statement on September 15, Osman's family say they have been threatened by government forces and party members after speaking out against the committee's findings.
To see the report, please click the link below:
Iraqi Kurdistan: Journalists Under Threat
Ensure Open, Thorough Investigation Into Killing of Young Reporter
Human Rights Watch29/10/2010 00:00:00