Kirkuk become a hell for journalist
By Nyaz Kirkuki, USA
August 15, 2008
Soran mama hama A 23 years old murder in Kurdistan /
shot by unidentified gunmen
in front of his house Monday night 7/21/2008 .
Soran, he was reporter with Levin magazine, and many
other newspaper and he was member of CHAK (the
center of halabja against anfalization and genocide
of the Kurds).
He received threatening massages after his last
article in Levin it was about the prevalence of
prostitution in Kirkuk and in his article mention he
had many names of police,www.ekurd.net
security officers and
executive they are partner and they are do in it us
business, so he was murder about his last article.
Nyaz Kikuki, USA
They want silent journalist and this is not the
first time in Kirkuk or in Kurdistan, it been five
years PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) and KDP
(Kurdistan Democratic Party) leadership in Kirkuk
every day getting worse ,they do not have any plan
and they do not let any body lead it.
So Soran mama hama he will be not the last one and
in the anther hand these journalist are not willing
to stop quiet but they have faith one day that land
be come land of freedom of speech.
Nyaz Kikuki was born in Kirkuk in 1976. He was a
close associate of the late Soran Mama Hama. He is
an independent observer and leads the US chapter of
the CHAK (The Center of Halabja against Anfalization
and Genocide of the Kurds). He also volunteers for
other humanitarian organizations.
Kurdishmedia.com website conducted the following
interview with Nyaz Kikuki regarding the
assassination of Soran Mam Hama.
Q: How did you know the late Soran Mama Hama?
Niyaz: I met
Soran during the beginning months of the current
year when I visited Kurdistan. I met the late Soran
in Kirkuk a few times, and we had long discussions
about the situation in Kirkuk after the removal of
Saddam’s regime. Kirkuk has turned to a center of
the conflict among the Kurdish parties. The late
Soran said, “There was only one Saddam previously,
but now, there are hundreds who belong to the two
leading parties. There is no government or law, and
militias rule. The political parties have turned to
embezzlement organizations though the reconstruction
projects which they control.”
Soran was a very active member in our organization (CHAK).
During my short stay in Kirkuk, the Kirkuk chapter
of CHAK sponsored the commemoration of Anfal. That
was the first time such an event takes place in
Kirkuk, after the fall of Saddam, to remember the
regretful campaign against the Kurds. And the CHAK
organization took the lead in sponsoring this event,
and the late Soran was supervising this event. He
was involved in other activities. He published a
newspaper called Nagrat Salman with help from other
members of CHAK in Kirkuk.
Q: What was your impression on the
personality of the martyred journalist?
Niyaz: Soran was
independent and had not ties to any political
parties. He was very prominent and well-known within
the intellectual community of Kirkuk and Iraqi
Kurdistan. He was very courageous, which can be
noticed from his articles and reports. His last two
articles were about President Massoud Barzani and
moral corruption in Kirkuk. Before his
assassination, there was another attempt on his
life. An unknown individual had placed a bomb in the
garbage bin outside of his office in Kirkuk, where
worked as a reporter for Kurdistan Report newspaper,
and the late Soran was injured after the blast.
In deed Soran was a leading reformist in Kirkuk, and
his pen was serving democracy and justice for the
various ethnic groups that live in Kirkuk.
Q: When was the last time you spoke with the
late Soran, and what were the topics that you
Niyaz: The late
communication I had with Soran was a week before his
assassination. He wanted to conduct an interview
with me about the American-Kurdish relations. He
sent me a number of questions and needed my
responses. He said he was going to submit more
questions to me, but regretfully, it never happened
because of the brutal assassination.
Q: Did he mention to you that he was being
threatened by individuals who spoke Kurdish?
Niyaz: He did
not mention anything about this issue. The late
Soran was very serious about his statements and
never mentioned anything of which he wasn’t firmly
sure. I believe he was threatened three days prior
to the assassination, according to certain reports
published in the press.
Q: Who do you think is responsible for this
perpetrators have not been found yet, but two
leading parties are responsible for this act because
they control the security establishments in Kirkuk.
They have yet to control the insecure situation in
Kirkuk because they are busy with corruption.
The late Soran is not the only journalist was has
been assassinated in Kirkuk. There have been other
cases against journalists who spoke courageously
about corruption within party officials in Kirkuk.
And I do not believe that Turkoman, Arabic or
Islmamic groups or parties are responsible for this
act because Soran never encouraged sectarianism or
racism. In fact he always encouraged co-existence
and reconciliation within the different ethnicities
Q: Do think those who are responsible for
this act can paralyze the independent journalists to
report on corruption?
Niyaz: On the
contrary; I don’t think so. These acts will
encourage journalists to report more bravely on
corruption within the two leading parties. After the
assassination of Soran, other journalists received
threats from unknown individuals, and perhaps from
the same who threatened the late Soran. Some of
those journalists are well-known. Therefore,www.ekurd.net
we conclude that the
struggle for democracy and modern ideas is
continuing and has not been hindering by the
assassination of the late Soran. If we look back,
the Kurdish authorities have assassinated many
journalists since the upraising in 1991 but they
weren’t able to hamper the free press. The world has
turned flat and became a small village through
internet communications. Many organizations have
observed these acts, and the perpetuators can be
found, not by the Kurdish parties, but by
humanitarian organizations, if they receive support
form the masses.
Q: Do you think the assassination of Soran
was due to working for CHAK or the Levin magazine?
Niyaz: I don’t
think the reason ascribes to his affiliation with
CHAK. Our organization is non-governmental and
humanitarian. It is true that this organization
wasn’t respected by the Kurdish authorities for
calling to expedite the Anfal trial against the
murders the Kurdish Mustashars (Kurdish tribal
leaders who were leading pro-Saddamist Kurdish
fighters) who were involved in carrying Anafal
against our people, and many of them are leading
officials within the two leading parties. Our
efforts in this regards were carried abroad due to
the freer environment to work.
Regarding Levin, I can’t speak for this magazine,
but perhaps his articles and reports were the main
reasons behind the assassination.
Q: Has an investigation started to find the
Niyaz: There are
efforts. Many organizations and individuals have
contacted international organizations and
parliamentarians. The US has called the Kurdish
authorities to investigate in this case. I have
personally contacted a few Senators, the White House
and Human Rights Watch. They all condemned this act,
and a Senator said that he will contact the Kurdish
authorities and will work to succeed democracy. I
believe this case has become international, and many
of the US press have openly talked about it.
Q: Do you think the Kurdish authorities were
serious in their statement of condemnation of
Niyaz: I do not
think the Kurdish Parliament or government have
officially condemned this act. I believe that a few
officials spoke about it, but it was not enough.
Lives have become much unvalued and especially with
the Kurdish government, despite the presence of the
Human Rights Ministry within the KRG.
Last year, there was a blast in Kirkuk and as a
result, more than 200 people lost their lives. The
Kurdish TVs never covered this terrorist act
extensively. They briefly mentioned it during their
newscasts. Unlike the Kurdish TVs, the Western press
covered this incident more extensively.
We have yet to see a minister visiting an incident
site or visit the families of the victims.
You may reach the author via email at: nyazkirkuki
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