90 days without news from the RojNews editor abducted by the KDP forces

Journalist Silêman Ehmed was abducted by the KDP forces three months ago and has not been heard from since.

Silêman Ahmed, the editor of Rojnews Arabic Service, was abducted by KDP forces at the Semalka (Faysh Khabur, Kr: Pêşxabûr) crossing point on the Iraqi-Syrian border on 25 October while returning to South Kurdistan from Aleppo, where he had gone on 1 October to visit his family. No news has been received from the Kurdish journalist for 90 days now.

The KDP intelligence service accuses the journalist, who comes from Rojava (northern Syria), of having links to the PKK. His arrest at the Sêmalka-Pêşxabûr border crossing between the Autonomous Region of North and East Syria and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) after a visit to his family in Aleppo was only confirmed by the Asayish (Local Security) in Duhok six days after his disappearance. RojNews describes the accusations against Silêman Ehmed as unsubstantiated allegations that have no connection to his five years of work as an editor.

Upon receiving information that Ehmed had been taken to Dohuk, his lawyers applied to the Duhok Asayish (Internal Security Forces). Although it was unofficially recognised that Ehmed was in their custody, he was not allowed to meet with his lawyers. The Duhok Asayish was forced to make a statement 6 days later in response to the reactions and defended that they did not have Ehmed in their custody.

The Duhok Judge's Office, to which an application was submitted, ruled that Ehmed’s lawyers could meet with him. With this decision, Ehmed’s detention was officially recognised. The lawyers who went to the Duhok Asayish with the decision in their hands were not allowed to meet with Ehmed and were subjected to threats and physical violence.

The lawyers, who continued their investigations despite attacks and threats, got the information that Ehmed was being held in one of the unofficial detention centres of Parastin, the KDP's intelligence agency.

Journalism professional organisations and non-governmental organisations have repeatedly appealed to the KDP administration, but to date there has been no explanation or statement about Ehmed.

Rojnews officials, who want the public to be informed about the fate of their editor Ehmed as soon as possible, have applied to the United Nations (UN) recently for support in finding out his whereabouts.