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Iraqi Kurdistan establishes committee to monitor investigations into murder of journalist

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has welcomed the news that the government of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRG) has established a committee to monitor investigations into the killing of the journalist Kawa Mohamed Ahmed Garmyani.

According to IFJ affiliate, the Kurdistan Journalists' Syndicate (KJS), the prime minister of the KRG, Nechirvan Barzani, has set up a Coordination and Monitoring Committee to oversee investigations into the brutal murder of Garmyani, who was shot dead outside his house in the town of Kalar in east Kurdistan last Thursday night, 5 December.

The committee is headed by the legal advisor of the prime minister and five other members representing the Kurdistan Journalists' Syndicate, the Ministry of the Interior, the security forces, the local government and local press freedom NGO, Metro Centre.

IFJ sent a letter last week to the President of the KRG, Massoud Barzani, asking him to form such a committee to oversee a thorough investigation into Garmyani's murder.

"Following the letter we sent to President Barazani to appeal for an immediate investigation into the appalling murder of our colleague Kawa Garmyani, we welcome this hugely positive move which sends the right message that murdering journalists in the region will not go unpunished," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha.

Boumelha added: "We now ask the Prime Minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, to take the same affirmative action against the targeted killing of journalists in Iraq, which has claimed the lives of seven journalists in the country this year."

"We reiterate the plea IFJ made in October, when we called on the Iraqi government to establish a special committee to investigate these killings."

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