By Namo Abdulla-The New York Times
ERBIL, Iraq — Recently, Iraq’s Kurdish authorities accused an Islamic militant group of responsibility for the abduction and murder of a campaigning journalist, Zardasht Osman.
Mr. Osman was a young freelance journalist who leveled harsh criticisms at the leadership of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region, writing about allegations of nepotism and corruption.
In a televised confession, a man identified by the Kurdish security forces as Hisham Mahmoud Ismaeel, said to be a member of the radical Sunni group Ansar al-Islam, said last week that he was the driver of the mini-bus in which Mr. Osman was kidnapped outside his college here in Erbil on May 4.
Mr. Ismaeel accused Mr. Osman of having ties with Ansar al-Islam, and said that he was taken to Mosul and killed because he had not kept a promise to do — unspecified — work for the radical group. But he was not specific about the nature of the alleged ties that Mr. Osman had with the militants.
The announcement was the preliminary result of a secret inquiry set up by the region’s president, Massoud Barzani, about four months ago. But it has failed to convince many people, who believe rather that Mr. Osman was a secular journalist who was killed for the scathing Web posts that he had written against the Kurdish authorities.
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Who Killed Zardasht Osman?