An Iranian journalist who advocates ties between Israelis and Kurds has been missing for 11 days, NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said Wednesday, expressing concern for his safety.
“We fear the worst and we urge the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government’s authorities to do everything possible to find Mawlud Afand,” the group said. “And we therefore call for an immediate investigation into this journalist’s disappearance.”
Afand, who is of Iranian origin, lives in Iraqi Kurdistan and is the editor of the magazine Kurd-Israel
, published by the Kurd-Israel Association. According to RSF, the Association encourages Kurdish Jews who emigrated to Israel to return to Kurdistan as well as promoting ties between Israel and Kurdistan.
The media watchdog linked Anfand's disappearance to an announcement made five days ago
by Iranian Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi that Iran's security forces had arrested a ring of assassins, which it says was responsible for the recent killings of nuclear scientists
RSF highlighted that the minister had also said that "part of Iranian intelligence activities is being carried out in neighboring countries." The group also noted that Kurd-Israel
is a "source of discord" between the Kurdistan Regional government and Iran.