Anti-corruption Kurdish journalist gunned
down in Iraqi Kurdistan
Kawa Germyani was the
December 6, 2013
editor of the magazine Rayal and a correspondent for
the newspaper Awene, He has been buried on Friday
morning in Kalar graveyard, Kurdistan region,
Iraq. Photo: Awen.com/Ekurd.net
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Kurdistan region 'Iraq',— Gunmen shot dead a
magazine editor investigating corruption in the
autonomous Kurdistan region, the latest in a series
of attacks on journalists in Iraq, media rights
groups and police said Friday.
Kawa Ahmed Germyani, the editor-in-chief of Rayal
magazine and a correspondent for Awene newspaper,
was gunned down on Thursday night, said Rahman
Ghareeb, an official from Kurdish media rights
watchdog Metro Centre.
A police captain confirmed Germyani had been killed.
Ghareeb said that Germyani, 32, was shot in the head
and chest in front of his mother at his home in the
town of Kalar, which lies south of Iraqi Kurdistan's
second-biggest city Sulaimaniyah.
Germyani had received threats, and he was taken to
court by politicians and officials over his work to
uncover corruption, Ghareeb said.
"We are appalled by Germyani's murder and offer our
heartfelt condolences to his family and colleagues,"
media rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
said in a statement.
"A professional journalist who covered corruption
and nepotism in Iraqi Kurdistan, Germyani knew he
was in danger and had told the region's authorities
about the threats he had received," the group said.
"His murder could have been avoided if they had
taken the necessary measures to protect him."
Kawa had been involved in disputes with local
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) leaders because
of his investigative reporting and recently he
registered a complaint with Garmyan police against
one PUK official. Previously he had appeared in
court for publishing the photo of an official in a
report on corruption.
RSF added that it is "worried about the very
dangerous climate for journalists both in Iraqi
Kurdistan and the rest of Iraq, and about the
impunity enjoyed by their attackers and killers."
Iraq has come in for repeated criticism over
shortcomings in media freedom, and ranks first in
the Committee to Protect Journalists' Impunity
Index, which tracks unsolved murders of journalists.
And while Kurdistan region in the north often
promotes itself as safer and more respectful of
human rights than the rest of Iraq,www.Ekurd.net
it has been sharply criticised by rights groups for
infringing on free speech.
A Kurdish academic Dr Abdul Al-Sattar Tahir
Sharif, 74, was
in March 2008, just 10 days
after he wrote an article in the Kurdish-language
monthly Livin criticising Kurdish leaders for not
pushing harder for Kirkuk city's incorporation into the
autonomous Kurdish region.
In July 2008, gunmen
Kurdish journalist Soran Mama Hama in in the Rasheed
Awa village, near the northern city of Kirkuk.
Soran Mama Hama was a reporter for the independent Kurdish-language
Sardasht Osman, a Kurdish journalist
killed in May
2010, after writing a scathing article about the
alleged corruption of Kurdish leaders. He had
written articles critical of the rule of Kurdistan
regional president Massoud Barzani. In one of
Osman's most critical articles,
love the daughter of Massoud Barzani"
In October 2013, gunmen
Shaswar Abdul wahid in a drive-by shooting in
Sulaimaniyah [Slêmanî], wounding the prominent
businessman who had received death threats and whose
independent NRT Television had been attacked twice in the past.
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