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“Spent Eid Holiday While the Father Detained”

Account of the Disappeared Journalist Barzan Liani by Pro-Autonomous Administration Asayish Forces

by wael.m
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The journalist Barzan Liani, Barzan Hussein Ramadan, born in Girkê Legê/ Maabadah in 1975, married with four children. He started his journalistic career in several Kurdish sites, including Welatême . net, he also worked with other media outlets, such as Gelî KurdIstan  channel, besides he has recently worked with the Kurdish channel “Zagros” along with Ark Program group, and he was a member of the “Syrian Kurdistan Book Union”.

On 13 May 2017, Barzan Liani drove his car to Rmylan at around 12 p.m. after the internet and telephone networks were cut in Girkê Legê/ Maabadah. He wanted to call his son who lives in Iraqi Kurdistan, but Barzan did not go back to his house on that day. His family were surprised that four consecutive hours passed without any news of him, as he was much attached to his family and his little daughters and he was not used to be away from home for long periods.


Mahmud Liani, a leader in the Kurdish Youth Movement and the uncle of the disappeared journalist Barzan Liani[1] said that eyewitnesses told the family afterwards that pro-Autonomous Administration Asayish forces arrested Barzan in the southern entrance of Rmylan and took him to an anonymous place inside Rmylan.

Several attempts began to find out the fate and whereabouts of Barzan either by the natives or by people close to the Democratic Union Party/PYD. Indeed, there was a confirmation at first of Barzan’s presence with the PYD but no visits were allowed. In the early days of his arrest, his wife and his little son were not allowed to visit him as the Autonomous Administration authorities replied that he would come back home soon, and that they had just some enquiries that he must answer and there were no charges against him.


About a month before the incident, Barzan was on a private visit to Iraqi Kurdistan, not on a business visit, and when he attempted to come back through Semalka crossing border, he was banned from entering Syria, but returned two days later after he found another way which was smuggling.

More than two months have passed since Barzan’s arrest, and the family’s attempts to determine his whereabouts exactly did not succeed because after the Autonomous Administration authorities stated that he was in Rmylan, his whereabouts was concealed completely.


On 16 July 2017, after vigorous attempts through rights and international organizations to pressure the authorities, his father, his wife, his son and his cousin managed to visit him at the "Nafkure" detention facility in Qamishli. During the trial courts, the judge allowed them to see Barzan for few minutes. Barzan could then give a summary of his situation where he told them that he had been detained for only 10 days in Rmylan, and then he spent about 37 days in a single cell in another detention facility located in Dêrîk/ al-Malikiayah and after that he was transferred to the Nafkure detention facility in Qamishli. Barzan’s family noticed the great psychological effects over him because of his detention, as well as his loss of much weight during the months of arrest. It should be noted that he did not suffer from any diseases before the arrest.


Barzan’s uncle described the psychological situation in which Barzan’s family underwent:

"Before being a journalist or an activist, Barzan is a husband and a father of little children. All of us know how much Barzan is attached to his children and their attachment to him, and it did not happen to miss his home more than two or three days. His little daughters are facing a very difficult psychological situation especially after the end of the holy month of Ramadan and spending the Eid holiday while their father is detained."


Syrians for Truth and Justice/STJ could not determine the reasons behind the detention of the journalist Barzan Liani by the Autonomous Administration authorities.


[1] The interview was conducted on 18 July 2017 via the internet.

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