Call for thorough investigation in to killing of Kurdish journalist

Kurdish journalist Wedat Hussein Ali was tortured and murdered on 13 August, just hours after being kidnapped in the city of Dohuk.

The IFJ joined the Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate in expressing its condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Mr Ali – and backed the union’s call for a thorough investigation to bring his killers to justice in a letter to President Massoud Barzani.

Ali, a reporter with the RojNews Agency, was kidnapped in the Malta neighbourhood of Duhok on 13 August and a few hours later his body was found dumped on the Semel-Duhok road.

According to the news agency preliminary investigations show he had been tortured.

Given the gravity of this crime against Mr Ali and in light of its potential impact on the free exercise of journalism the IFJ has urged the Kurdistan Regional Government to devote all necessary resources to properly and fairly investigate the killing and bring the killers to justice.

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “We offer our sympathy to Wedat’s family and colleagues. We join them in condemning the murder. Alongside the KJS, we are increasingly concerned at the attacks on journalists in the region and the failure of the authorities to properly investigate the killings and provide the necessary protection and support to journalists.

“We fully support the demand of our affiliate, the Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate that your government conduct a speedy and thorough investigation in to his death and bring Mr Ali’s killers to justice”.

The IFJ and the KJS also mourned the death of cameraman Mustafa Said, working for Kurdistan TV, who was fatally killed on Sunday during a military operation against the Islamic State group in northern Iraq. His colleague, correspondent of Kurdistan TV Hayman Nanqli, was also injured following a mortar round fired into a village recently retaken by the peshermga from IS.

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 16

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