The editor of Rayel magazine, Kawe Germiyanî was assassinated in front of his house in the Kelar district of the Kurdistan Region on the evening of October 5, 2013 by a group of armed men affiliated with “PUK officials”.
Kawe was born in 1981 in the Germiyan area. He was an active journalist. He has always pursued cases of corruption and injustice. He had been arrested several times by the authorities for his actions. He was also threatened with death several times.
The latest threat came from PUK Politburo member Mahmud Sengawi. Although the necessary evidence is not available on the killer and those behind the Kawe Germiyan assassination, so far only one person has been convicted and the others released.
Kawe Germiyan was waiting for the birth of his first child when he was terrorized. A mere eighteen days after his assassination, his son was born. At Kawe’s request, he was named “Amed”.
His wife Shirin Kawe also became a member of parliament on the Gorran Movement list in the last parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan Region. Shirin is from an Anfal family, and has always been following her husband’s case and taking place in the face of public discontent.
According to reports by international human rights watchdogs, the Iraqi Kurdish region has a history of curbing freedom of speech through legal pursuits against activists, journalists and now artists just to prevent them criticising the political parties who have ruled the region since 1991. Hundreds of journalists have disappeared behind bars.
“Iraqi authorities, including in the Kurdistan region, have routinely used vaguely worded laws to bring criminal charges against people who express opinions they dislike,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported in June.
Since 1991, dozens of artists, poets and journalists have been assassinated in the Kurdistan region, including Marxist poet Bakr Ali, Islamist poet Khider Kosari, journalists Soran Mama Hama, Sardasht Othman and Kawa Garmiani and dozens of others.
Few if any of the perpetrators of the killings have ever been brought to justice.