Syrian-Kurdish journalist arrested in Raqqa
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.
Last week my great fixer @KamiranSadoun was detained and abused by Kurdish forces in Raqqa, Northeastern Syria, where we were working together.— Ana van Es (@esvanana) June 23, 2021
We @volkskrant are shocked by this event and asked the authorities in NE Syria #AANES for clarification.https://t.co/VwGCzr5Anl
"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.