Press Freedom organization demands release of jailed Kurdish reporter in Syria

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PYD supporters in Syria's Qamishli. File photo

ARA News

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), in a letter to the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria-Rojava, urged the Democratic Union Party (PYD) to release Barzan Hussein Liani. The CPJ is an independent organization which advocates for press freedom across the globe.

“Liani, a journalist with Zagros TV, was detained by Asayish forces outside Rmeilan in the Syrian region of Cizire Canton, on May 13 as he tried to return to his home,” CPJ Director Courtney Radsch said in the letter.

Zargos’ station director told CPJ that witnesses saw a patrol stopping Liani and escorting the journalist back into the town, where he has been detained for nearly two months.

Massoud Akko, a journalist who is closely covering the case and who has been in touch with the journalist’s family and employer, told the CPJ that no charges have been laid against Liani. In addition, the journalist has been allowed only one brief visit by his wife.

“CPJ is concerned about Liani’s health, safety, and well-being,” Courtney Radsch said, in a letter to Abdulkerim Saruhan and Hayfa Arabo, the co-chairs of Cizire Canton. “Both the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria and the authorities governing Cizire Canton, should work to secure Liani’s immediate release and allow the journalist’s lawyer and family to contact him.”

Liani has worked as a correspondent for Zagros TV –which is owned by the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP), a rival of the PYD. Liani also works as a freelance journalist for several other media outlets, and is a member of the KDP.

The CPJ also asked the Rojavan authorities to release Liani in May, and at a minimum insisted that they clarify the circumstances of his detention. Both KDP and PYD-run regions have previously violated press freedoms.

Source: ARA News

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