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ʿAmudah: Independent radio station burned to the ground

KurdWatch, May 4, 2016—Late in the evening of April 26, 2016 in ʿAmudah, five masked and armed men kidnapped the deputy head of the independent radio station Arta FM, Muhammad Ramadan Hasan (known as Safqan Orkesh), as well as the driver of the station, Ahmad Rashik, in front of the Arta FM building. Orkesh reported in a press statement that the kidnappers took them to the cemetery in ʿAmudah and held a gun to their heads and threatened them with death if they continued working for the station. While they, the kidnappers, fought and made sacrifices, the employees of the radio station only »talked about senseless things«. Subsequently, the radio station was burned to the ground in front of the two kidnapped men after the computers were confiscated. Both employees of the station were then released. Sirwan Haji Barko, director of Arta FM, accused the armed forces of the Democratic Union Party's (PYD) appointed administration of being responsible for the abduction and arson. He later revised his statement and said that the »good people« in the administration would ensure justice even if »the bad guys« ruined their reputation.

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