Abdulwahid calls for independent investigation into journalists’ deaths

President of the New Generation Movement Shaswar Abdulwahid (NRT Digital Media)

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SULAIMANI — President of the New Generation Movement Shaswar Abdulwahid has called for an independent investigation into the deaths of NRT presenter Amanj Babani, his wife and fellow journalist Lana Muhammad, and their son.

“The news of their deaths has shocked me. A human being does not know what to say, as there are no words that can express what I am feeling,” he said in a statement in the early hours of Thursday (October 17).

“The PUK and the security forces of Sulaimani are responsible for the incident until a proper and neutral investigation can be done far from the hands of the parties and the security forces,” he added.

The Sulaimani Police Directorate’s Communication and Relations Department released a brief statement overnight saying that the deaths were the result of an incident involving suicide and promised to release further details later on Thursday.

“We have been waiting for [news] about the investigation into the matter, but what the security forces have published is utterly disrespectful to those dear people that their blood was spilt in an unjust way,” Abdulwahid.

“What the security forces said about the incident have only increased our doubts about it and made us suspect the matter more,” he continued.

“It was too early for the security forces to make those hasty statements, without even doing a proper investigation first.”

“We have a lot of doubts and suspicions concerning the incident and NRT Channel and its lawyers, friends, and loved ones are conducting a different investigation from the one the government and the security forces are doing,” Abdulwahid said.

Babani was the anchor of NRT's program Be Snur. Muhammad worked for Kurdsat. They were married several years ago.

Their deaths prompted an outpouring of grief from the journalist community and a wave of condolences from the Kurdistan Region’s political and cultural leaders.

(NRT Digital Media)