How did Kurdish journalist Arkan Sharif meet his death?

November 1, 2017 at 7:18 pm

Arkan Sharif worked for KDP affiliated Kurdistan TV

The assassins switched off the lights and disconnected the CCTV before they entered the house around 2am on October 30, in Daquq town, 44 km south Kirkuk. The men jumped over the front wall and knocked on the door. The moment Arkan Sharif who worked for a Kurdish TV channel appeared followed by his wife, the masked men handcuffed him.

“Please don’t hurt my family, whatever you need , you can take, i can give you money,” this was the first thing that Arkan Sharif uttered to the masked men according to Arkan’s traumatised wife Hanan Sattar.

The masked men told Arkan and his wife that they did not need money. Arkan Mohammad, 49, worked for Kurdistan TV, an official outlet of Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Kirkuk area.  That night the men locked Arkan’s wife and the family’s three children in one room and started stabbing Arakn with a military knife.

According to the autopsy report provided to Kirkuknow, the men stabbed Arkan eight times on his chest, back and face.

“We were locked up in the other room, and when i could not hear Arkan’s voice anymore, i realised they had killed him,” said Arkan’s wife.

The family called for help until six in the morning and then a neighbour entered the house and saw the body of Arakn on the floor in a pool of blood.

As a cameraman, Arkan covered the Peshmerga war against Islamic State for three years. On 16th of October the Kurdish peshmerga and other security forces withdrew from Kirkuk and the security of the area including Daquq was passed on to the Iraqi forces including the Popular Mobolisation Forces (PMF).

Arkan Sharif was displaced as a result of clashes between Iraqi security forces and peshmerga on 16th of October and headed to Sulaymaniyah.

Arkan Sharif is buried in his hometown of Daquq (30 October 2017/ Picture courtesy of the family )

Arkan spoke to his nephew Saman Mohammad on October 25 and told him he was going back to Daquq because he said he had no problem with anyone.

Arkan’s family are originally from Daquq and are considered wealthy by local standards as they have large plots of agricultural land. On top of his work with kurdistan TV, Arkan was the head of a school in Hawtakhar village in Daquq.

Saman Mohammad told Kirkuknow that the masked men attacked Arkan because he worked as a journalist for a KDP and secondly he was a Kurd.

Arkan’s family say they have no quarrels with anyone. Karwan Akraeyi the head of kurdistan TV told Kirkuknow that when the Iraqi forces arrived all his media workers left and went to Erbil except for Arkan who went to Sulaymaniyah and then returned to Daquq without informing the channel management. Akraeyi accused the PMU of being behind the murder.

Jawdat Assaf the media official of PMU in northern front told Kirkuknow that the management of Kurdistan TV have not presented any evidence, if they provide evidence that PMU were involved, the PMU leadership will investigate and hold anyone behind the killing responsible. “Since our forces arrived in the area, they have been many accusations against us but without any presenting any evidence.”

Mohammad Sharif the elder brother of Arkan says that the PMU were behind the killing. “We know who they are, they are a well known group.”

Journalists in Erbil will hold a demonstration on Thursday, 2nd of November, outside UN offices calling for protection of journalists.

The police in Daquq is currently investigating the crime and have spoken to the wife and children of Arkan Sharif.


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