Four sus­pects ar­rested in con­nec­tion with jour­nal­ist’s killing

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Salih Wal­ad­bagi

Four sus­pects have been ar­rested in con­nec­tion with the mur­der of a Kur­dish jour­nal­ist in the Garmiyan Re­gion. A se­cu­rity source claims they are mem­bers of a dan­ger­ous band close to sev­eral Pesh­marga of­fi­cials.

Khas­row Gul-Mo­hammed, head of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion Se­cu­rity and Pro­tec­tion Agency, an­nounced that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the killing of Kawa Garmiyani has made sig­nif­i­cant progress.

“This is a very im­por­tant de­vel­op­ment, and all par­ties should act re­spon­si­bly and help re­veal the truth. It is for the court, not to peo­ple, to pro­nounce judge­ment on the in­ci­dent now,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion pub­lished in Kur­dish me­dia out­lets, five men are al­leged to have been in­volved in the killing of Garmiyani. A se­cu­rity source, who wished to re­main anony­mous due to the sen­si­tiv­ity of the is­sue, said that four of the five men have now been ar­rested, with the fifth hav­ing fled.

The sus­pects are said to have in­volved in sev­eral other crimes in the Re­gion. The source states that they have worked closely with sev­eral PUK Pesh­marga com­man­ders and se­cu­rity of­fi­cials, and that they used to work in lo­cal se­cu­rity bod­ies.

Two cars--one black, one white—were used in the as­sas­si­na­tion of Garmiyani. Af­ter ac­com­plish­ing their mis­sion and killing the jour­nal­ist, the mur­der­ers fled to the “Ger­man Vil­lage” hous­ing com­plex in Kalar city.

Su­per­vis­ing the op­er­a­tion was a cap­tain called “H.A”, who had al­ready been ar­rested for abducting the son of a busi­ness­man in Kalar in 2008. When he was ar­rested by the se­cu­rity forces and charged un­der the Ter­ror- ism Law, Mah­moud San­gawi, a se­nior PUK Pesh­marga com­man­der, in­ter­vened. Af­ter vis­it­ing the busi­ness­man’s house, he used his con­nec­tions to re­solve the is­sue.

Garmiyani later pub­lished the de­tails of the in­ci­dent in Ray­ala mag­a­zine, whose ed­i­tor-in-chief he was. Af­ter pub­lish­ing the ar­ti­cle, Garmiyani re­ceived a tele­phone from San­gawi, who threat­ened him. The tele­phone record­ing was quickly pub­lished on so­cial me­dia net­works.

Ac­cord­ing to the source, up­root­ing pow­er­ful bands of this sort linked to high-rank­ing of­fi­cials is a com­pli­cated mat­ter.

Adil Murad, the sec­re­tary of the PUK cen­tral coun­cil, posted a sta­tus on his Face­book page, ex­press­ing his se­ri­ous con­cerns re­lat­ing to the as­sas­si­na­tion of Garmiyani. He asked the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment (KRG) and the se­cu­rity forces to look into the case and bring the crim­i­nals to jus­tice.

He stated that: “This sor­row­ful in­ci­dent proves that there is a shaky hid­den hand at work lim­it­ing the cul­ture of democ­racy and suf­fo­cat­ing free­dom of speech.”

The killing hap­pened un­der the au­thor­ity of the Pa­tri­otic Union of Kur­dis­tan (PUK), and many posts on so­cial me­dia net­works have ac­cused the party of fail­ing to pro­tect its jour­nal­ists’ lives. The PUK mem­ber­ship be­lieves that fail­ing to make the truth pub­lic and to bring the crim­i­nals to jus­tice would count heav­ily against the party, which is now un­der lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional pres­sure to re­veal the de­tails of the case.

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