After 21 days of his kidnapping, the family of a 52-year-old Kurdish university lecturer learned about his fate today. His body had been found 11 days ago at Domiz neighbourhood in Kirkuk, and the authorities don’t want to hand it over before taking statements from his family members.
Safa Kalhuri was a professor at the Garmiyan University in Kalar, Sulaymania province until a few months ago. He was kidnapped on 7 October on the road between Kalar and Khanaqin.
Although his body had been found 11 days ago, his family learned about the discovery today.
My father was driving an Opel car, on his way back to Kalar. But he was apparently ambushed by gunmen
Ari Mustafa, Safa’s son, told KirkukNow: “My father was driving an Opel car, on his way back to Kalar. But he was apparently ambushed by gunmen at the village of Sawzblagh in Khanaqin district [in Diyala]. His car was left there behind.”
“We have been looking for him ever since. We have kept looking everywhere until today when we were contacted by the authorities. When we went, we saw that it was our father,” Ari added.
Colonel Yusif Salih, chief of Domiz Police, told KirkukNow the body of Safa was discovered on 17 October after residents had informed the police. “But nobody had since come to ask about it.”
The body was wrapped up in three blankets. There were signs of severe torture on it. It seems he was strangled
“The body was wrapped up in three blankets. There were signs of severe torture on it. It seems he was strangled. There were no bullet holes on it,” Salih added.
The multi-ethnic and multi-religious Domiz neighbourhood is located south of Kirkuk City.
“According to our investigation, he was kidnapped on 7 October. His body was found on 17 October. His family has now come to receive it,” said Salih.
“A paper was left on his corpse; ‘this is the fate of every traitor Kurd’ was written on it.”
Ari, his mother and an uncle have been informed about the discovery of the body and travelled to Kirkuk, but it wasn’t handed over to them and have to await a court decision.
Ari said they had been trying all day to get his father’s body back, but they were tod “you have to give your statements at the Kirkuk Court.” They must appear in court tomorrow (28 October 2020).
Colonel Salih said: “We didn’t know he was a teacher. He was wearing a suit and a tie. He had even been following health instructions as he had been wearing a mask and gloves. It is still not clear whether the case is just murder or terrorism.”