Syrian-Kurdish journalist arrested in Raqqa

SDF arrest Syrian-Kurdish journalist Kamiran Sadoun in Raqqa: CPJ
2 min read
27 June, 2021
Kamiran Sadoun was arrested on the night of June 16 and was given no clear reason for his detention, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Kamiran Sadoun was arrested while staying in a hotel in Raqqa [Twitter]

A Syrian-Kurdish journalist and fixer was detained by Kurdish security forces in Raqqa, northeast Syria, and left in jail for several hours, he told the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Officers with the Syrian Democratic Forces' General Security agency detained Kamiran Sadoun on June 16 in what he described as an unprovoked arrest.

According to Sadoun's statement to CPJ, he was assisting Ana van Es, a correspondent for the Dutch daily De Volkskrant and was planning to report on the nearby Berlin-Baghdad railway, as opposed to anything politically sensitive.

Sadoun said he was sleeping in a hotel in Raqqa when four General Security officers knocked on his door. When he answered, they took him from his room and brought him to the hotel's reception area, where more officers were waiting for him.

"I asked them to let me tell Ana that I was being arrested, because Raqqa is unsafe and she couldn’t communicate with the driver, but they refused and took me to the car," Sadoun told the CPJ. He added the men forced him into a car, blindfolded him, hit him repeatedly on the back, pointed guns at him and ordered him to lay down.

The officers took him to a police station and then transferred him to a nearby jail, where he was put in a room with more than 40 other people and left overnight.

The next morning, Sadoun was allegedly questioned by a General Officer about his name and tribe and was subsequently released.

When Sadoun he asked why he had been detained and the officer reportedly said, "you are wanted", but would not elaborate. Sadoun said the officers did not ask about his media work.

According to De Volkskrant, Sadoun, van Es, and the driver accompanying them had valid permits to work in Raqqa. The newspaper said that Sadoun had worked with van Es since 2016.