May 11, 2010
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The Death of Young Journalist Sardasht Osman Shocks the World - By Mufid Abdulla
It has recently been reported of the shocking story of young journalist, Sardasht Osman, who was kidnapped on 4th May 2010 and two days later whose body was found near to the PUK headquarters in Mosul. This crime not only shocked many people in the south of Kurdistan, where the murder took place, but the news has shocked people all around the world. Sardasht was a correspondent for several websites and electronic newspapers. The air of Kurdistan is thick with a sense of injustice, and, as the body of Sardasht is taken back to Hawler from Mosul, people are asking what will happen next?

Everyone from my parents’ generation who lived through the civil war is worried; it is a very bloody conflict and the two ruling parties the KDP and the PUK are still a powerful force here. It was a brutal act forced upon young Sardasht who was kidnapped in broad daylight and murdered in a cold-blooded way two days later. It is a determination among all our nations and especially amongst the world of Journalism to not avert its eyes from the realities of this situation. It is a continuous conspiracy against the free press.

Amnesty International have raised their voice and asked the authorities in Kurdistan “to set up an investigation line on this crime and bring the murderers to justice”. As stated in The New York Times, by Sam Dagher, one of Osman’s friends accused the KDP security forces (Parastin, masrur Barzani) in Arbil for committing this crime. Other comments have included; imminent Kurdish writer Jalal Dabag who described the murder “as another crime against Journalism”; the communist party of Kurdistan “express disbelief as to how it could be possible in the centre of Hawler and in the daytime you can be kidnapped and taken to Mosul considering all of the control points of security surrounding Hawler”; are “asking for the resignation of the minister for security” and they are holding the KRG responsible for this crime.

The Islamic Union of Kurdistan has stated that “this is a frightening alert to the lives of our citizens in Kurdistan, and we ask for authority to devote time and money to find the killers”. Kurdish newspapers in general are asking for a mass response to this crime. The Kurdish website has contacted the chief-of-police in Hawler about the case and they have been told that they do not have any information about the death or kidnapping. The KDP’s central committee for media has issued a statement today condemning the crime but as nothing new, just a template to fill the media gab. The President of Kurdistan’s spokesman issued a condemnation statement in which it is promised that these murderers will be brought to justice. People want the President of Kurdistan and other leaders to come down from their tourist resorts of Permam and Salahadin and come to meet the people in the cities and towns of Kurdistan.

The committee of the Members of Kurdistan Parliament belonging to the Gorran movement issued a statement on the 6th May. The students and lecturers from the University of Sulaymaniah have demonstrated in front of the University as a protest against the killers of Zardasht Osman. One of the lecturers in the College of Economy and Administration, Rizan Hama Rashid, told the reporters that “this nation has shed so much blood for their freedom and liberation, nobody understands what this is for”.

Also, today, 78 Kurdish writers and intellectuals have united to condemn the murder of journalist Zardasht Osman. The well known writer Kadir Nadir has described the KDP as Al-Qaida and Hawler as Guantanamo Bay. He continues to comment to the ruling authority in Hawler that, not even Hitler or Mussolini could stop the wave of history; it means that the Barzani clan cannot stop the process of history. In reality today’s Hawler is similar to Fallujah not Dubai as the KDP ruling leader wishes it to be. Youth movements all over Kurdistan, Halabja, Ranya, Qaldse, Hawler, in different ways have expressed their anger and condemnation to the barbaric killing of this courageous young man.

The Minister for High Education in Kurdistan, Dr Dlawar Aladdin, stated on the Voice of America that this crime looks more like a personal matter rather than a political one. I am not surprised at this well educated man from the UK for this elaboration. Whether this is a crime which either is, or is not, personal, the authorities have a duty to work out what has happened. Karwan Saleh, a Member of Kurdish Parliament has stated that “it is obvious that Zardasht Osman was kidnapped on 4th May in front of the security people of the University”.

Lvinpress and their editor-in-chief Ahmed Mira have warned that the authorities of the KRG as likely to be responsible for all cases like this in Kurdistan.

Finally, Hawler can be a brutal place. That has been demonstrated this week with the savagery inflicted on Zardasht Osman. Journalists are powerless as the tide of bullets and violence creeps ever higher. Events like this are more likely to ignite an uprising and civil war than anything else. The two ruling parties up to now could not avert such a crime, which most of the time seems to be conducted in competing against each other in economic corruption. The KRG cannot help but see it; the existence of these two ruling parties is a burden to the people. The only answer for this crime is for the President and the KRG to come to people and explain to them why this has happened and what kind of measures they have to stop such occurrences. The question remains, how has it been possible in broad daylight in front of security offices for such a kidnapping and subsequent murder to have taken place?


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