metro center statement

Dear participants,

The honorable family of our colleague Soran Mama Hama,

The organizers of this event,

On the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, the United Nations reported that between 2006 and 2020, 1200 journalists have been killed for reporting the news or bringing information to the public. Additionally, in nine out of ten investigated cases, the killer goes unpunished.

In the Kurdistan Region, Soran Mama Hama, Mamosta Abdul-Satar, Sardasht Osman, Kawa Garmiyani, and Widat Hussein, are all journalists who were killed for expressing their opinion or otherwise doing investigative journalism. Their cases, despite promises from responsible authorities, remain unsolved because of the lack of independence in the judiciary. Thus, the murderer and the conspirator have fled justice.

The most glaring example of interference with the judiciary, is the backtracking of the prosecutor general in regards to the ruling on the five imprisoned activists from Shiladze. He is now saying, in contradiction to his previous ruling, that the imprisoned activists are not eligible for parole. The Shiladze activists include Mahmoud Naji, Yousif Sharif, Kovan Tariq, Nechirvan Badii, and Amjad Yousif, who were sentenced to two years in prison for their condemnation of and protest against the Turkish invasion of the Kurdistan region.

According to their lawyers, the activists are, in fact, eligible for parole for a duration of three months per year. Moreover, given that at the time of the verdict, they had already finished most of their sentence, they should’ve been paroled last month, but they remain in prison.

Dear participants, despite the rise in impunity for the crimes and aggressions against journalists, which has a direct affect on the freedom of journalism, the threats journalists receive on the internet and their prosecution with Iraqi criminal law, along with discrimination and obstacles they face, are all additional pressure on this noble career.

The organization of this event is an important message, that the families and friends of victims, and the people of Kurdistan do not negotiate with the killers and their conspirators.


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