Feature Story

Journalist Amanj Babani and his family were ‎murdered, not committed suicide: KDP Police

Updated: May 20, 2020

The original clip was updated after the new information released by police in Erbil

Almost four months after their tragic death, police in the capital city of Erbil revealed journalist Amanj Babani, his wife Lana Muahmmad and their youn son Hano were actually murdered.

On October 16, 2019 NRT journalist Amanj Babani, his family were killed in their car. Only 15 hours after the crime, forces linked to the PUK (Police and intelligence forces) in Sulaymaniyah city claimed Amanj killed his family and committed suicide. They even claimed that Amanj andLana had many personal problems, while the family live in love and peace for more than a decade together.

During a press conference, Director of the Sulaymaniyah Police Aso Sheikh Taha said “there were no bullet holes on the outside of the car. No shootings occurred outside of the car.”

At that time, NRT TV channel and many people did not believe the scenario which was claimed by the partisan security forces.

On October 17, The Kurdistan Parliament’s Culture and Civil Society Committee called on the security forces in Sulaymaniyah to conduct a proper and thorough investigation in a professional manner to uncover the facts behind their deaths.

However, the Sulaymaniyah Police did not respond to the calls and that press conference was the last one.

On February 6, 2020, security forces loyal to PDK in the capital city of Erbil claimed to have evidence the family were actually murdered. That statement from Erbil based police, which is a KDP controlled zone, was revealed after some tit-for-tat statements from both traditional ruling parties.

What makes the case more suspicious was an angry statement in March 2020 by the KDP security forces with strong links to prime minister Masrour Barzani which named “Lahur Talabani and his brothers” as the murderer of Amanj Babani and “many more like him in Sulaymaniyah area”.

While Sulaymaniyah police claimed that they found seven bullets in the scene, Erbil based police said they received classified information that there were 11 bullets in the scene, and two guns were used in the crime not one.

PDK forces themselves are accused of kidnapping and killing Sardash Osman who criticized family ruling, especially Barzanis, and several other journalists.

In the last decade, several journalists have been tortured and killed in the Kurdish Region of Iraq. Soran Mama Hama in Kirkuk (2008, aged 21), Sardasht Osman in Erbil (2010, aged 22), Kawa Garmyani in Kalar (2013, aged 32), Wedat Hussain in Dohuk (2016, aged 28), Amanj Babani with his family in Sulaymaniyah (2019, aged 35). Sardasht and Wadat both were kidnapped, tortured and then killed. Soran and Kawa were killed in front of their mothers’ eyes in their house. Amanj and his family were killed in one of the crowded streets in Sulayamaniyah.

Committee to Protect Journalists: In Kurdistan the perpetrators of Journalists have full immunity

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