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Middle East & Arab World

Urgent Appeal for Immediate Investigation into Murder of Journalist in Kurdistan Region of Iraq

06 December 2013

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has written to the President of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Massoud Barazani, to urge his government to carry out a thorough investigation into the murder of journalist Kawa Mohamed Ahmed "Garmyani" who was shot dead in the town of Kalar in east Kurdistan last night, Thursday 5 December.

According to IFJ affiliate, the Kurdistan journalists' Syndicate (KJS), its member Garmyani was gunned down at 9pm outside his house. Media reports say that a few days before his murder he had announced on his Facebook page that he had documents relating to a corruption case that he was planning to write about in the local ‘Rayal' magazine. As well as being editor for the Rayal magazine, Garmyani was also a correspondent for the ‘Awene' newspaper.

According to reports, Garmyani had been involved in disputes with local politicians because of his investigative reporting and he recently registered a complaint with Garmyan police against one of them.
The letter, signed by IFJ President Jim Boumelha, calls on the President and his government to investigate the murder with immediate effect.

"We strongly condemn the appalling murder of the highly respected Kurdistan journalist Kawa Gamyani and we express our sympathies to his loved ones and colleagues at this incredibly difficult time," says the letter.

It adds: "We ask your government to carry out a thorough investigation into this and other cases of journalists' killings and ensure that truth and justice are served in the interests of lasting rule of law and respect for human rights in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq."

The KJS has condemned the "cold blooded murder" and demanded that an independent investigation into the assassination is opened immediately.

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries