Duhok journalist Mustafah Bamarni. Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A journalist from Duhok who has been missing for several days has been found in police custody for allegedly encouraging people to participate in unlicensed demonstrations.
Mustafah Bamarni was allegedly kidnapped a number of days ago by armed men in civilian clothing, leading many to fear for the worst.
“Mustafah Bamarni, due to encouraging people to participate in unlicensed demonstrations, is currently in police custody and is being dealt with based on the law of demonstrations,” Hemin Sleman, spokesperson for Duhok police, told Rudaw.
Media freedoms group Metro Center for Journalists Rights and Advocacy in the Kurdistan Region called on Duhok’s security apparatus to disclose the fate of the journalist.
“The security forces are responsible for the safety of Mustafah Bamarni,” said Metro in a statement on Sunday.
“Late evening on Saturday, a civilian force in the Newroz neighborhood of the city of Duhok bundled the former presenter of the Peshmerga post program on [TV] channel War, Mustafah Bamarni, into a car and his fate is still unknown,” the advocacy group said.
Bamarni is not the only person being detained for the same offense.
“Mustafah Bamarni isn’t the sole detained. There are two other youth from Duhok detained for the same reason,” the police spokesperson added.
Journalists in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq are frequently targeted for their work by security forces, political opponents, and hired thugs.