Four suspects arrested in connection with journalist’s killing
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.