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Who Is Sardasht Osman?

Erbil: On May 05, 2010, a young man in his twenties was walking to college to celebrate his graduation day. He was a student of College of Language, University of Salahadin, Erbil. Before stepping into the college yard, he was abducted by a group of gunmen and the University guards did not do anything to protect him. The man was Sardasht Osman, an independent journalist from Erbil. He was happy and charming. He had many dreams. 

Sardasht with her sister, getting ready to graduation party, 2010

Few days later, his dad found him and called his mom and said: “I found him.” The mom was so excited about that, but her excitement became a non-healed wound on her heart as her husband told her: “I am bringing his dead body back home.”
Sardasht was writing critically about the government. However, one piece of his writing made his tragic destiny; it was an imagination story. In his story, he was fantasizing himself becoming Masoud Barzani’s son-in-law. The story’s title was “I am in love with Barzani’s daughter. Sardasht was trying to portrait his life when he marries Barzani’s daughter. “I can imagine that I will have bodyguards. My dad, who is not getting his retirement benefits, will be treated like a minister. My young sister will go to school by a fancy car. All my family will live a high life.”
Before his death, he received multiple death threats. He appealed to Erbil Asayish, Erbil’s Police Chief, College of Language Dean. Noe of them took his appeal seriously, but his assassins were serious about it.
Sardasht 2

Remembering Sardasht, Erbil, 2017

To date, no independent and transparent investigation conducted. The international organizations and the Human Rights Watch urged the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to find the perpetrators and hold them accountable. The KDP, which is a de facto ruler in Erbil, introduced a suspect and made him say that he killed Sardasht. However, he changed his testimony in the court and denied the charges against him.
Sardasht’s case remains open and his family refused to endorse Erbil courts. Every year, journalists and freedom defenders in Kurdistan and abroad commemorate Sardasht’s tragic death and respect his works. Sardasht knew that his life would come to an end soon. In an emotional letter to his family and friends said: “We continue to write and if I died, let me friends put a period and start writing again. This journey is going to continue.”

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