Feature Story

Badinan Protest: Released Protester “Can Hardly Speak”; NRT ‎Reporter’s Whereabouts Remains Unknown

The transcript of Khatab’s statement to me

Six days after his arrest, NRT reporter’s whereabouts still remains unknown. His family and lawyer are concerned about his safety as his colleagues were reportedly tortured & rushed to hospital after their release.

Ahmad Zakhoy and dozens of local reporters and protesters were arrested during the latest demonstrations in the Badinan areas which is mostly controlled by The Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK).

Ahmad Zakhoy’s lawyer Khatab Omar told me that the reporter was arrested while he was covering the protest to NRT channel on August 19, but he still remains in custody. Khatab said Asayish (PDK-affiliated security forces) asked to post bail in order to release him but he is still in prison “without charges”.

Some reporters and protesters were released; among them was  political activist Faruq Omar, who is Khatab Omar’s younger brother. Faruq was released after spending four days in prison.

Khatatb said Faruq was arrested the day after the demonstrations. While he was on his way to Dohuk, he was arrested by Asayish agents in the checkpoints near their home. One judged told Khatab that his brother arrested without charges.

According to Khatab, Faruq has been held in a “single prison cell without water and food which causes his kidneys dried and his health condition became very critical”. It was then the Asayish agents released him “to avoid the scapegoat if something bad happens to him”. 

Both Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders asks the Kurdistan Regional Government to immediately release the detainees and calls the Kurdish government to respect freedom of speech.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *