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Iraki Kurdistan : Warning of death threat

Tuesday 17 August 2010, by siawi2

Lvin Magazine in 1st of August 2010 No 134 has published an interview with the PHD student (Irfan Qani’ Fard) at Harvard University. In his words, Mr.Fard is talking about his thesis, which is on Kurdish modern history and has mentioned some of his views; a part of his views is about (Mulla Mustafa Barzani) the father of incumbent Masud Barzani, president of KRG and one of the Kurdish political leaders.

Lvin Magazine has interviewed Mr.Fard as a journalistic regular work and is not responsible to the opinions of him that has mentioned in the Q:A interview. And any who looks the interview with a fair eye can see that Lvin has done the interview neutrally and professionally. But unfortunately, after publishing the interview Lvin and its journalists have directly and indirectly been attacked a tough threatened campaign of Kurdistan Democratic Party. They have attacked us in different ways by different styles.

KDP which led by Masud Barzani, president of Kurdistan Region, have threatened us by death penalty through different channels. We have been abused by them and they have promised to get revenge on us.

In 4th of August, only three days after publishing the interview in Lvin, an announcement was published against Lvin Magazine and its journalists. It has obviously reported that “if we don’t repent, they don’t keep their hand in killing us.”

This announcement has been published in Khabat Daily Newspaper, the main official newspaper of KDP in 5th of August No 3542.

Meantime, in 3rd of August in the same style another announcement has been published as saying “warning” and clearly has announced if we don’t repent our life is in danger.

On Friday 5th of August, in Arbil and Duhok province, the two controlled provinces by KDP, many Pro-KDP Mullahs (Islamic Scholars) in their Friday preach, have abused Lvin Magazine and enthused the public against us. In front of thousands of people, they attacked Lvin Magazine and its journalists. They misunderstood people that Lvin abused the sacred Islam and its leaders, while our interview has nothing with Islam, but it is clear that they want to stir and motivate the public against us. Some of the Mullahs directly had told people to attack journalist and do not accept and to make us silent.
Kurdistan Islamic Scholars Organization which is a PRO-KDP organization, in announcement has asked Lvin Magazine to apologize. And a group of KDP youths announced “if you don’t apologize, we don’t keep our hands in you.”
While all asking to separate religion from power, but KDP use the state of the Mosques to political tends and intends to kill the freedom of speech and silence the different opinions through Islamic Mullahs.

Dears, all these death threats are only because of a journalistic interview that has reported some different views regarding Mullah Mustafa Barzani’s history.

Sin of Lvin is only that allowed a PHD student to talk about his views based on his thesis!

Is publishing opinions of someone in our magazine worthy to make (Halal) free our blood by KDP? Is in democracies any one threatening by death penalty?

We are really concerned by the organs of KDP in Suleimani which are distributing and publishing these announcements of death among quarters and streets and the KRG security forces are only looking them instead of investigating.

High Excellencies, we are warning you because of this un-democratic situation that KDP has created, freedom of speech is in worst situation and journalists of Lvin are facing death threat.

We are asking all who are concerned about the freedom of speech and our life prevent KDP through your diplomatic and civil paths. KDP has broken up all limits you have to put a limit for undemocratic acts. If you don’t raise your voice, KDP wants to kill freedom of speech and different voices.
We are warning all that our safety is in responsibility of KDP, although KDP has distributed some announcements, motivated people through mullahs to attack us.

Therefore, we are asking all who are mentioned above to immediately interfere in this situation and put an end to this KDP undemocratic campaign against freedom of expression and publishing.

We are really concerned about this campaign of KDP against us and we are dealing with this campaign very seriously, as Lvin, as one of the independent media outlets in KRG, already in 2007 faced an attack in Kirkuk and one of the our journalists, Soran Mama Hama was killed in front of his gate house in Kirkuk. The murderers have not found yet.

Lvin Magazine, Suleimani, Iraqi Kurdistan region, August, 9th 2010

This is from 2008: http://www.kurdmedia.com/article.aspx?id=14940

Threat to free media in Kurdistan- call for international investigation

KurdishMedia.com , 24/07/2008 00:00:00

The leading Kurdish independent magazine Lvin announced on 22 July 2008 the assassination of the head of its Kirkuk office the prominent young journalist Soran Mama Hama “in front of his own home in the district of Rashidawa in the city of Kirkuk which is one of the quiet districts of that city on 21 July 2008.”

Soran Hama was a courageous 23-yaer old talented professional journalist who had dedicated himself to the issues of the deprived and marginalized people of Kirkuk and investigation of injustice and corruption in the city especially by Kurdish authorities. Soran Hama was threatened with death by Kurdish armed men after publishing investigate reports in Lvin magazine proving the involvement of Kurdish officials in prostitution business in Kirkuk. He contacted CHACK representatives in London ten days ago asking their help to leave Kirkuk for fear of assassination.

In their statement, Lvin magazine holds Kurdistan Region Presidency, Council of Ministers and Kurdistan Parliament responsible for his murder "because the security responsibility of the area in which he was murdered is in the hands of Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

We strongly condemn this cowardly terrorist act and agree with Lvin magazine that it represents “a big threat to the free and independent media in Kurdistan region and Iraq “and a spectre that works for the elimination of free media in Kurdistan, which has started to stand on its own feet in the last few years, through the intimidation and assassination of journalists”.
We also support the demand by Lvin for an independent international investigation of this criminal terrorist act to find out and bring the murderers to justice.

We call upon the UN, the US, the British government, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and all organisations and individuals that cherish human rights and free expression to condemn this crime and work for quick international investigation.