Still no news of Rojnews editor Silêman Ehmed in KDP custody for 138 days

It has been 138 days since Rojnews editor Silêman Ehmed was detained by KDP-affiliated forces.


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 138 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 unofficially confirmed by the KDP-affiliated Asayish (Local Security) in Duhok six days after his disappearance in the wake of growing public reaction. RojNews describes the accusations against Silêman Ehmed as unsubstantiated allegations that have no connection to his five years of work as an editor. The Duhok Asayish, despite accusing the journalist of "conducting intelligence activities", then claimed that they did not have him in their custody.

The Duhok Judgeship, to which an application was made afterward, ruled that Ahmet's lawyers could meet with him. With this decision, Ahmet'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 Ahmet and faced attacks and threats. The lawyers continued their investigations despite the attacks and threats and found out that Ahmet was being held in one of the unofficial detention centres of Parastin, the KDP's intelligence agency.

Lawyers from the Silêman Ahmed Defence Group have submitted more than 10 official applications to date. However, they have not been allowed to meet with their client, nor have they been provided with any information about his condition.

The abduction of Silêman Ahmed was condemned by local and international journalist organisations, including the Committee to Protect Journalists (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 Ahmed.

Rojnews Agency condemns the unlawful abduction of Silêman Ahmed, who has been working as an editor at the Arabic service of the agency for 5 years, and demands his release and an explanation about his fate as soon as possible. The agency applied to the United Nations (UN) recently for support in finding out his whereabouts.