Kurdish authorities say Assyrian professor killed by family member, not security forces

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Assyrian professor Dr. Elias Ishaq was found dead in al-Hasakah province near the village of Umm al-Malah, on July 21, 2017. File photo

ARA News

The public prosecution in the Cezire canton of Rojava-Northern Syria said in a statement that neither the Asayish police nor the YPG had any involvement in the killing of Dr. Elias Ishaq, an Assyrian professor whose body was found in Hasakah. The Rojava authorities said that one of Ishaq’s relatives was responsible for the murder.

Dr. Elias Ishaq’s body was found on 21 July in al-Hasakah province near the village of Umm al-Malah, 5 kilometers west of Hasakah city, with a bullet in his head. According to the public prosecution services in the Hasakah province (Cezire canton), Nazir Georgianan, the son of Ishaq’s sister was responsible for the death.

Dr. Ishaq was the dean of the faculty for agricultural engineering at the Furat University in Hasakah.

After his death, groups opposed to the Asayish and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) accused them of killing the Assyrian professor. However, the prosecution denied this.

“We deny this accusation and we affirm that we are still the party responsible to protect the security and safety of citizens in the Al-Jazira [Hasakah] province,” the organization said.

According the Commission of Inquiry and Prosecution in Cezire canton, after the victim’s body was examined and evidence was collected, the investigation confirmed that the murderer was Nazir Georgianan, a relative of the professor. While he initially surrendered to the Syrian regime in the security square in Hasakah, Georgianan later surrendered to the Kurdish security forces and will be prosecuted.

The commission accused Nazir Georgianan of trying to kill his father and grandfather due to conflict over money.

Kurdish fighters have earlier been involved in murdering an Assyrian military leader in northern Syria, raising tensions between Assyrians and Kurds. In April 2015, David Jendo, the commander of the Assyrian Khabour village guards was assassinated by 4 YPG fighters.

After the murder, the YPG leadership immediately condemned the murder and the suspects were arrested. Following a trial in July 2015 a court ruled that the two killers would face 20 years in prison, while the two others received a prison sentence of one year and 4 years.

However, this time with the murder of Dr. Elias Ishaq it seems to be a personal case.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News

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