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Israeli-Kurd Editor Mawlud Afand ‘being tortured in Tehran’

This is a cross post from Point of No Return

Mawlud Afand, the kidnapped Israel-Kurd magazine editor who disappeared on 8 June, is believed to be in Tehran in the custody of the Iranian intelligence services, where he is almost certainly being severely tortured.

The Israel-Kurd magazine has been trying to piece together Afand’s last known movements. The fingerprints of the Iranians are all over this kidnapping. According to Samuel Kermashahi, a representative of the Israel-Kurd magazine in Sweden, Afand was kidnapped by Iranian agents in Iraqi Kurdistan. He was taken to the town of Sulaimaniyah, then drugged and transferred to the Iranian consulate in Erbil until 12 June. On the night of 13 June he was driven in an Iranian diplomatic car back to the Iranian consulate in Sulaimaniyah and over the border with Iran.

Kermashahi suspects that the kidapping was engineered with the help of Sherzad Omar, who works in the Israel-Kurd magazine office but was actually collaborating with Iranian intelligence. Omar picked up Mawlud Afand’s possessions in a van. Another man, Saro, collected Mawlud’s computers and valuables. A woman who challenged them when she visited Afand’s apartment on 8 June ran away after she was threatened with a similar fate. A journalist who tried ringing the Israel-Kurd magazine offices told Point of No Return that Sherzad Omar had answered the ‘phone.

On 14 June Iranian agents led Afand to the Iranian city of Kermanshah. From there he was brought to the city of Sannandej. He stayed there until 15 June. Iranian security police then brought him to his home town of Mahabad. On 17 June, they sent him to Tabriz, then on to Tehran.

A demonstration to free Mawlud Afand was held jointly by Kurdish activists and the British Israel Coalition in London last weekend. The NGO ‘Reporters without Borders’ has also appealed for Afand’s release.