ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A Kurdish activist on Wednesday succumbed to wounds he had sustained in an attempted suicide, broadcasted live on social media from a remote area in the Kurdistan Region.
Following the historic Kurdish bid for independence in September 2017, Hakim Goran—a former judge, hence the title ‘Hakim,’ Arabic for the occupation—decided to lead a life of solitude and took up residence in a makeshift tent in a mountainous area near the town of Akre, located in western Duhok Province.
Goran at the time had said he would remain in isolation until the birth of a Kurdish state. However, following the events of Oct. 16, 2017, he saw the division among the Kurdish nation as a much more pressing issue.
During an interview with Kurdistan 24 on the first anniversary of the historic vote on Sept. 30, he stated his new condition for a return to society: unity among the Kurdish people and, more importantly, the political parties. Goran had visitors coming to see him from all over the region to observe his way of life.
Early Tuesday, he announced on Facebook that he would take his own life because of what he claimed was the “continued political disunity” between the region’s parties. The mental and physical state of the judge when making this decision was not immediately known, although relatives have said that he has had no history of mental health disorders.
He later went live on his social media page with a banner placed to the left of his back reading “unity, reform, and independence.” Facebook later took down the video.
At least two bystanders were close to Goran, with the voice of one heard from behind the camera, trying to dissuade the aggrieved man, who was threatening to shoot himself with a Kalashnikov. Refusing to listen, Goran directed the automatic rifle at his chest and unloaded three bullets.
A second bystander rushed to help Goran who was brought to a local hospital where staff attempted to save his life until early Wednesday. He unfortunately eventually succumbed to his injuries.
(Kosar Nawzad contributed to this report)
Editing by Nadia Riva