Editor of Israel-Kurd Institute's magazine
missing in Iraqi Kurdistan
June 20, 2012
Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — An Iraqi Kurdish editor
of a magazine that advocates relations between the
Kurdistan region and Israel has been missing for
more than 10 days, a journalist and a media rights
said on Wednesday.
Mawloud Afand, the editor-in-chief of the
Israel-Kurd Institute's magazine, has been missing
since June 8, said Diyari Mohammed, a correspondent
for the magazine in Sulaimaniyah, in the autonomous
Kurdistan region of northern Iraq.
Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders expressed
concern about the missing journalist.
"We fear the worst and we urge the autonomous
Kurdistan Regional Government’s authorities to do
everything possible to find" Afand, RSF said in a
statement on its website, calling for an immediate
During a visit to Sulaimaniyah, Afand "went alone
for an appointment... and disappeared," Mohammed
"He called in the afternoon the next day and told us
that he was on a private visit and would return back
after a week," he said.
A woman who spoke Persian answered Afand's phone on
June 13, but it has been switched off since then,
Mohammed said, adding Afand's colleagues have raised
the possibility he was kidnapped by Iranian
Mohammed said the president of the Israel-Kurd
Institute, Dawood al-Baghistani, had been informed
by the Kurdistan region's government last year that
Iran wanted the magazine closed,www.ekurd.net
but that Kurdistan declined to do so.
RSF said the magazine "promotes better relations
between Israelis and Kurds and encourages Kurdish
Jews who emigrated to Israel to return to
Kurdistan," noting that "its aims and activities are
controversial and constitute a major source of
discord between the Kurdistan Regional Government
Iran has alleged its arch-foe Israel was operating
in Kurdistan, claims the region has rejected as
On May 5, Tehran's consul in Erbil, Azim Hosseini,
said Iran's security agencies had found evidence
that "Israelis are in Kurdistan, and they are
working against Iran."
"Israelis are working under different passports and
names and banners," he told Safil, a Kurdish weekly
published in Erbil.
And on April 21, Iranian MP Esmaeel Kosari told Al-Alam,
an Iran-based Arabic-language news channel, that
Kurdistan and Azerbaijan "should know that the
presence of the Zionist regime on their soil will be
harmful to them."
"The neighbouring nations should not allow this
regime to have any activities against Iran."
The Kurdistan regional government responded by
saying: "This is not the first time that Iranian
officials are saying this without presenting
evidence or reasons."
You can read Mr. Mawloud Afand's
last article 2010
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