Media at War with Ruling Parties
Kurdishaspect.com - By Mufid Abdulla
When 24 year old Sardasht Osman was murdered in cold blood on 4th May 2010, he knew what was awaiting him. As a freelance journalist he was writing for different websites whilst attending the University of Salahadeen, Language College of Literatures, as an English language student. At the beginning of this month he was picked up by a vehicle driven by someone in dark glasses in front of his college and two days later his body was found in the city of Mosul, 120 miles from Hawler. There were signs of torture to his body and several bullets in his mouth.
All the local newspapers have been pointing fingers towards the two ruling political parties because of his criticism to the leaders of these parties in the south of Kurdistan.
In his Article on 21st January 2010, the writer informed us of the nature of the imminent danger facing him, which I believe it is extremely important to translate for others outside of Kurdistan, in order to raise awareness of what we are facing as journalists both inside and outside of Kurdistan:
“For the first time, in the last few days, they have told me that my days are numbered, or my permission to breath in this city will be ceased. However, I am not frightened from death or torture. I am waiting for my murderers to come and take my life away. I am praying that they will murder me in a tragic way that will be even to my life. The reason I am writing this to you all is to show that the lives of the youth of my country amounts to just a simple choice of death. The only thing scaring me is not my death but the continuation of these days to the next generation.
The stupidity of this authority is that they do not care about their own citizens being killed. I informed the head of my College of Literature about the death threat I had had, but he told me this was a case for the police. I do not know if there is anything like this happening anywhere else in this world; you turn to the head of office in your university and they do not want to help you.
I also contacted brigadier general Abdulkaliq Talat in Hawler, capital of Kurdistan, but he told me that as the telephone numbers they called me on and threatened me on are outside the KRG, there would not be anything like that in Hawler, Hawler is quiet place and this would not be allowed to happen.
Whatever happens, I am not leaving this city and am waiting for my murderers to come and take my life away. The first alert of my death at the end will be an example for the whole of the youth generation in this country. But this time I do not want to register any complaint or go through any hierarchy to reach the political leaders. This is my decision and I will face all of the consequences of it. From today when I write a new article I feel that this will be my last one. I want to be as honest as the Messiah (prophet of Christian). I am glad I have something to say but others do not want to listen. When we are whispering, the ears of others get uncomfortable. We talk as much as we are alive. My colleagues should mark the place of my murder as a starting point for new writings and new beginnings”.
Finally, how could it have been possible for a young man like Sardasht to be so sure about his death sentence? I am shocked and saddened by his death. He was an extremely brave and indefatigable person and will be remembered in our history of free speech as a star in the dark sky of our country which is full of injustices to the lives of young journalists like him.