25 August 2016 – Kurdish PEN Centre strongly condemns the killing of RojNews Agency’s journalist Wedat Hussein Ali, whose body was found on a road between town Simel and Duhok city in Kurdistan Region of Iraq, on Saturday, 13th August 2016.
At a time when the Kurdistan Region of Iraq faces numerous political and economical crises, which are mounting day after day, silencing the voices of free journalists and intellectuals is an extremely dangerous sign. According to RojNews Agency Wedat Ali was kidnapped on Saturday morning of 13th August 2016 by unidentified people in Malta district of the city of Duhok. Hours later his body was found on a road bearing horrifying signs of torture. Preliminary information also point out that Wadat was killed under torture with no bullet injuries found on his body.
RojNews Agency said: “Wadat Ali, born in Duhok in 1988, signed an employment contract with us few months ago and started working as a journalist, but from the moment he started until the day he was killed he had no problems of any kind with anyone. It is worth mentioning however that the security forces in Duhok had called him to their office for interrogation several times during the last few days prior to the day he was killed”.
We, the Kurdish PEN centre, call on the authorities in the region to protect the life of people, especially journalists and writers in Kurdistan to maintain its legitimacy. Contrary to that the killing and assassination of free voices, inability to protect citizens and silencing free voices in any society only takes away legitimacy from authorities in charge.
We therefore urgently call on the security and police authorities in the region carry out a thorough investigation into the killing of Wedat Hussein Ali and bring all perpetrators to face justice.
Kurdish PEN Centre