It’s been days since a journalist was last murdered because of their job.
name was .
Investigating the killing of Sardasht Osman
The Assassination of Sardasht Osman: Debunking the Official Story
May 03, 2021
On 4 May 2010, Sardasht was kidnapped in Erbil and assassinated because of his writings. Twelve years later, no one has been arrested and convicted for it. Our investigation team has looked at the case, revealing serious flaws in the official investigation and credible allegations that Kurdish authorities were direclty involved in the murder.
Sardasht Osman was a courageous and talented 23-year-old citizen journalist, who wrote about corruption and
political mismanagement within the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in a period of political upheaval.
On 13 December 2009, Sardasht wrote a satirical article accusing the family of President Barzani of corruption
and nepotism, a ‘red line’ in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). The article, titled: ‘I Am In Love With Barzani’s
Daughter’, juxtaposed the hardships of average Kurdish citizens with the lavish lifestyle of the Barzani family.
On 4 May 2010, Sardasht was kidnapped in Erbil and assassinated because of his writings. Twelve years later,
no one has been arrested and convicted for his kidnap and assassination, and there are serious allegations that
officials linked to the Barzani family were involved in the murder.
Our investigation team interviewed dozens of witnesses, analyzed official case files and statements, and reviewed
satellite imagery and photographic evidence. The aim was to scrutinize the official investigation and unearth
new findings concerning Sardasht’s murder. This report reveals serious flaws in the official investigation into
the kidnap and assassination of Sardasht, and finds credible allegations that Kurdish authorities were directly
involved in the murder.
Our report demonstrates that the investigation into the kidnapping and assassination of Sardasht Osman
fails to meet internationally accepted standards for investigations, such as the Minnesota Protocol. Furthermore,
our findings have shown several anomalies in the official version of events, and in the subsequent conclusion of
the Special Investigation Committee. Finally, our investigation finds serious indications that
Kurdish authorities might have been responsible for the kidnapping and assassination of Sardasht, and were subsequently involved in pressuring and threatening Sardasht’s family members and friends to remain quiet. The full investigation and its recommendations can be downloaded here.
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