Journalists’ Syndicate appeals to Malaysia not to deport Kurdish journalist to Damascus
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Syndicate of Journalists in Kurdistan-Syria called on international organizations to help Kurdish journalist Himbervan Kousa, who was arrested at the Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia on Saturday.
According to a statement from the syndicate, Kousa was detained at an airport in Malaysia while en route from Erbil to Germany’s Stuttgart for journalism purposes and to continue his studies.
Kousa is a Syrian Kurdish journalist from Qamishli who writes for many Kurdish and Arab websites. He recently resided in the Kurdistan Region.
The Syndicate of Journalists in Kurdistan-Syria expressed its concern for Kousa’s safety, adding it fears authorities in Malaysia would deport him to Damascus.
Deportation to Damascus “could potentially threaten his life since the Syrian regime has a dark history when it comes to journalists, especially when the regime considers non-sympathetic journalists as its enemies,” the statement read.
The Syndicate of Journalists in Kurdistan-Syria called on Malaysia not to deport the Kurdish journalist. They appealed to relevant organizations worldwide to contact Malaysian authorities and intervene in the matter so that Kousa can return to Erbil.
Kurdish journalist and human rights activist Massoud Akko wrote on Facebook that contact with Kousa was lost since Saturday. If Kousa is deported to Syria, “he would face a real risk to his life,” Akko stated.
Local journalists and friends of Kousa made similar appeals on Facebook to international organizations, urging them to pressure Malaysia to prevent his deportation.
Malaysian authorities claim Kousa is on the Syrian regime’s wanted list “due to his work as a journalist.”
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany