Relatives of killed Kurdish journalist
slam the investigation report
Family and watchdogs slam probe into Kurd reporter's
Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — Relatives of a journalist
killed in May after he alleged corruption among
Iraqi Kurdish leaders reacted angrily on Thursday to
an official probe that ruled he was shot by Islamic
Their concerns about the inquiry carried out by the
Kurdistan regional government KRG in Iraq's north
were echoed by international press watchdogs.
Sardasht Osman, 22, was
kidnapped on May 4 in the regional
capital Erbil, and his corpse was found a day later
in the restive northern city of Mosul with a single
bullet to the head.
He had written articles critical of the rule of
Kurdistan regional president Massoud Barzani, but an
investigative committee formed by Barzani said on
Wednesday that Osman was killed because of his ties
to an extremist group.
A woman holding the photo of the Kurdish journalist Sardasht Osman killed in May after writing articles
critical of the rule of Kurdistan president Massoud
"We (the family) not
only reject the results of the investigation, but we
condemn this action and express our resentment
towards these attempts to accuse him of being a
terrorist," Osman's brother Bakr, who lives in
Sweden, said in a statement issued in Erbil.
Bakr Osman labelled the allegations "baseless",
insisted his brother was secular and called for an
independent inquiry, led by international
organisations, journalists and family
representatives, to probe the murder.
New York-based press watchdog The Committee to
Protect Journalists (CPJ), said in a
statement on Wednesday that it was
"dismayed by the deficient inquiry", called on
Kurdish authorities to "conduct a thorough and
credible investigation" and said the investigative
committee's report lacked evidence.
on Wednesday, said Osman was "tied" to Ansar
al-Islam, a Kurdish Sunni Muslim extremist group
that has claimed several attacks against US and
It said it had arrested the man who kidnapped Osman,
28-year-old Hisham Mahmud Ismail, and added that he
was a member of Ansar al-Islam. The committee said
Ismail snatched Osman and then handed him over to
other members of the group, who eventually killed
Osman, a final-year English student at Salaheddin
University in Erbil, worked as a journalist for the
magazine Ashtiname ("Letter for Peace" in Kurdish)
and as an English-Kurdish translator.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a press freedom
group, said he also wrote articles for a variety of
other Kurdish publications.
In one of Osman's most critical articles, headlined
love the daughter of Massoud Barzani"
and published in the Kurdistan Post, he used an
imaginary dream to condemn the alleged corruption of
"When I become the son-in-law of Barzani, the
wedding night will be in Paris and we will visit the
palace of our uncle for several days in the United
States," he wrote,www.ekurd.netdrawing
a provocative contrast between Barzani's opulent
lifestyle and that of ordinary Kurds.
RSF said last week that the Iraq conflict has been
the deadliest for the media since World War II, and
in October ranked Iraq a lowly 145th place for media
freedom out of 175 countries.
And according to the "Impunity Index" released in
April by the CPJ, Iraq has the worst record of any
country for solving murders of reporters.
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