DFG: The KDP is committing a crime and should release Silêman Ehmed

DFG made a statement for journalist Silêman Ehmed, who was detained by KDP 200 days ago, and said, "Our concerns about his life are increasing. KDP is committing a crime."


Dicle Fırat Journalists' Association (DFG) made a written statement on Silêman Ehmed, the editor of Rojnews Arabic Service, who was abducted by KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party) forces at the Semalka (Faysh Khabur, Kr: Pêşxabûr) crossing point on the Iraqi-Syrian border on 25 October. The KDP has been holding the Kurdish journalist hostage for 200 days and is not providing any information about his condition.

The DFG statement said, "A journalist has not been heard from for 200 days. Silêman Ehmed’s family and colleagues have been asking about his fate every day for two hundred days, but the KDP and the Federal Kurdistan Region administration remain silent. The questions of where Silêman Ehmed is, what his condition is and whether his life is in danger are left unanswered."

The statement noted that the KDP did not provide any reliable information about Ehmed to the public despite all the calls and attempts of the family, lawyers and press organisations. "Silêman Ehmed was detained unlawfully, and his detention was not admitted. However, as a result of the initiatives of his lawyers, the related authorities were forced to admit that he was in custody. The abduction of Silêman Ehmed was condemned by local and international journalist organisations, including the CPJ and Reporters Without Borders. The KDP administration, to which professional organisations as well as civil society organisations have appealed, has not made any statement regarding Silêman Ehmed. Rojnews officials also applied to the United Nations (UN) demanding that the public be informed about the fate of their editor as soon as possible. On 12 April, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the Mina Committee for the Protection of Human Rights submitted an urgent request to the United Nations (UN) Committee on Enforced Disappearances to determine the fate of Ehmed."

The statement continued: "Despite all these calls, the KDP administration remains silent about Ehmed’s fate and refrains from making a statement that would allay the concerns of his family and colleagues. The KDP and the Federal Kurdistan Regional Government are committing a crime with this attitude. Since it is guilty, it ignores and turns a deaf ear to what is happening. However, the whole public is waiting for an explanation about the fate of Silêman Ehmed as soon as possible. While this attitude of the KDP and the Federated Kurdistan Regional Government is against universal law, this approach is the product of a dirty and dangerous policy. With this method, freedom of the press is being eliminated. As journalists of this geography, we never accept such unlawful and fascist methods. Our concerns about Silêman Ehmed’s life are increasing and we want to hear from him as soon as possible. We call on the KDP to abandon these practices and release Silêman Ehmed."