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 Call for an independent investigation into the murder of the Kurdish journalist Soran Mama Hama

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Call for an independent investigation into the murder of the Kurdish journalist Soran Mama Hama  29.7.2008 



July 29, 2008

Kurdistan region "Iraq"

Soran Mama Hama, a reporter with the independent Kurdish magazine LIVIN, was gunned down by unidentified gunmen in Kirkuk on 21 July. The victim had received death threats by phone after reporting on abuse of power by security forces in Kirkuk. He was also a member of The Center of Halabja against Genocide and Anfalization (CHAK) Organisation.

This grave crime is tantamount to a declaration of war against the nascent free press in Iraqi Kurdistan, where journalists and media professionals are playing an essential role in order to testify and to make public the violations of human rights and corruption in this region,
www.ekurd.net a right granted to them by International Human Rights Law, in particular the article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Only a few days after the murder of Soran Mama Hama other independent Kurdish journalists received death threats. These crimes, if not independently investigated and the perpetrators not brought to justice and punished, will surely cause more casualties and seriously threaten the stability and security of Iraq and undermine the rule of law.

According to latest news, the Kirkuk security forces have started with the investigations what raises serious doubts about the independence and effectiveness of these investigations, since the Kirkuk security forces are within the circle of suspects in this murder case.

We may therefore appeal on the international community to honour their obligations under the Security Council Resolution 1738 to end impunity and to prosecute those responsible for such a serious violation of human rights, and their obligations under the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949,
www.ekurd.net in particular the additional protocols of 8 June 1977, in particular the article 79 of the Additional Protocol I regarding the protection of journalists, where the states parties to Geneva Conventions have an obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed a grave breach of Geneva Conventions, and the obligation to try them before their own courts, regardless of their nationality.

The United Nations and the Multinational Forces in Iraq, under the leadership of the United States, are in particular reminded of their obligations under the Security Council Resolutions 1511, 1546 and 1723, welcoming the willingness of multinational forces to continue efforts to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability of Iraq, and giving the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq the mandate to promote the protection of human rights and strengthen the rule of law.

The Center of Halabja against Genocide and Anfalization
www.chaknews.com
www.chak.be
chak_org (at) yahoo.com
22/07/2008

Copyright, respective author or news agency, Chak 

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