Journalist Soran Hama was assassinated in the city of Kirkuk on 21 July 2008. Today, the co-founder of Defend International Dr Widad, made a statement condemning the killing.
DI Statement on Assassination of Journalist Soran Hama
28 July 2008
New York – USA, DI is saddened to learn that the journalist Soran Hama has been assassinated in Kurdistan Region, Iraq. On behalf of Defend International members, Dr Widad expressed her deepest sympathy to his family and loved ones. DI calls on the authorities of Iraq and Kurdistan Region to redouble their efforts to improve the safety of journalists and to get to the bottom of this heinous act.
Soran Hama, 23, was leading the independent Leven Magazin’s Kirkuk office. He was shot dead by unidentified assailants in front of his home in Rasheed Awa, a suburb of Kirkuk. Defend International promotes freedom of expression and freedom of the press as a basic human right. Journalists have been paying an unacceptably high toll for basic human rights. They have an important role to play in the reconstruction of a stable, democratic society. Those who attack them are attacking Iraqi society as a whole. Such horrific acts can lead to an increase in violence and further deterioration of the situation in Iraq. Finding out who the perpetrators were will be a test for the state of democracy, freedom of expression and freedom of opinion in Iraq.
According to DI member organisations, close to two hundreds journalists have been killed in Iraq lately, 13 of them were assassinated in Kirkuk. In addition dozens of reporters, cameramen and other media workers have been injured or murdered and thousands have been driven into exile. Today, we appeal to the international community to support journalists, academicians and intellectuals, and we call for acts of solidarity and mobilization in favour of free media in the country.