Online edition

Justice for Soran!

SORAN Mama Hama, an Iraqi Kurdish journalist working for Leven magazine, was shot dead in his home in the suburbs of Kirkuk, Northern Iraq, on 21 July. He had received threats after writing articles that criticised local officials. Since 2003, 13 media workers have been killed in Kirkuk - an ethnically mixed Kurdish, Turcoman and Arab city outside the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) zone but largely controlled by Kurdish security forces.

The Union of Kurdistan Journalists has called on the KRG and the Kirkuk authorities to open an "urgent investigation to discover the killers", and the head of the Kurdish Journalists Union in Kirkuk, Latif Satih Faraj, blamed the killing on "gangs seeking to silence reporters who want to expose corruption."

London Freelance Branch voted at its September meeting to campaign for an independent enquiry in Soran's death, through lobbying the UK government to use its influence on Iraqi government figures, and by working with our contacts among Kurdish media workers on the ground and living in the UK.

The Branch has a good track record of involvement in three successful campaigns to get Iraqi journalists and fixers out of prison. In October last year, LFB member Garry Trotter's efforts got Kirkuk-based fixer Tarik Ramadan out after a long spell in detention without trial - see www.londonfreelance.org/fl/0712tr.html - and we expect the contacts made will be useful now.

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