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 Press groups in Iraqi Kurdistan mark anniversary of Kurdish murder

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Press groups in Iraqi Kurdistan mark anniversary of Kurdish murder  4.5.2011  

May 4, 2011

SULAIMANIYAH, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — Iraqi and international press groups marked a year on Wednesday since the murder of a young Kurdish journalist, criticising an official inquiry into his death for lacking transparency.

Sardasht Osman, 22, was kidnapped on May 4, 2010 in the Iraqi Kurdistan regional capital Erbil, not long after he wrote articles critical of the government and ruling parties. His corpse was found a day later in the restive northern city of Mosul with a single bullet to the head.

However, an official inquiry formed by Kurdistan president Massoud Barzani said last year that the university student was killed because of his ties to a militant group,
www.ekurd.netwhich subsequently denied it had shot him.

"We question the Kurdistan regional government's determination to shed light on this murder and condemn the lack of transparency surrounding its investigation," Paris-based watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said.

Aref Qarbani, the editor-in-chief of independent Kurdish newspaper Arso, called to "reopen the inquiry, and form a neutral committee to investigate the case."

"The last committee was not neutral," Qarbani said.                        

Kurdish journalist and student Sardasht Osman (23) was kidnapped in the capital of the semiautonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq, tortured and then killed with two bullets in the head for his scathing articles against Massoud Barzani and Kurdistan Regional Government KRG.
Osman's own family reiterated its rejection of the inquiry's findings, with the dead writer's elder brother Bakr insisting Sardasht "was killed because of his critical articles about the lack of social justice in the region."

A spokesman for Barzani was not immediately reachable by AFP for comment.

In one of Osman's most critical articles, headlined "I love the daughter of Massoud Barzani" and published in the Kurdistan Post, he used an imaginary dream to condemn the alleged corruption of Kurdish leaders.

"When I become the son-in-law of Barzani, the wedding night will be in Paris and we will visit the palace of our uncle for several days in the United States," he wrote, drawing a provocative contrast between Barzani's opulent lifestyle and that of ordinary Kurds.

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