Posted on August 14, 2016
DUHOK, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— A Kurdish journalist, Wedat Hussein Ali, from Duhok with reported ties to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) was found dead on Saturday in the KDP stronghold of Duhok in Iraqi Kurdistan.
“Today, Wedat Hussein Ali, our reporter from Roj News Agency, was kidnapped by some unidentified persons in the Malta neighborhood in Duhok. A few hours later his dead body was found on the Semel-Duhok road,” read an announcement from the news agency.
According to preliminary investigations Ali, 28, was tortured to death, RojNews said.
There are strong evidences the Ali was tortured before his death, NRT published photo and video of Ali’s dead body.
RojNews emphasized that Wedat Hussein Ali had been detained by the Kurdistan Democratic Party KDP’s intelligence agency “Parastın” many times, and was forced to be an agent for the KDP.
The agency stated that Ali was threatened several times because of his refusal to be a KDP agent, and demanded an immediate investigation into the event while reminding that the murder took place in an area under KDP jurisdiction.
RojNews reportedly has ties with the PKK.
Duhok police confirmed that an investigation is ongoing.
“[Ali] is from Duhok and 28 years old. On the main Duhok-Semel road he was stopped and beaten. He was rushed to the hospital and died later,” Hemin Atroushi, media officer for Duhok Police, told Rudaw.
Atroushi added that “At the morgue, we have started an investigation into the killing of this young man.”
Safety of journalists is a concern in the Kurdistan Region. While attacks on journalists are condemned publicly, the lack of concrete action in the form of protecting and supporting journalists by the authorities means that such attacks continue with impunity, according to the Metro Center, a media rights organization based in the Kurdistan Region and monitoring freedom of the press in the region, in their annual review of 2015.
The Metro Center documented the violations of the rights of 145 journalists in 2015, up from 107 the year before. The violations include beatings, intimidation, arbitrary detention, and murder.
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