KRG: Release the unlawfully detained journalists and human rights activists immediately

 

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) recent violations of fundamental human rights and freedom of expression is of grave concern to us, human rights defenders and activists. The KRG’s blatant disregards for the rule of law and violations of international treaties under PM Masrour Barzani leadership have reached a new level following the kidnapping of dozens of journalists and human rights activists, who were snatched from their homes and places of work and locked up on trumped-up charges. 

After the Aug 2020 peaceful protest demanding the civil servants’ rightful salaries to be paid, over 280 people were arrested, among them were teachers, civil servants, journalists and human rights activists, some of whom have been subjected to physical and psychological tortures, prolonged solitary confinement and denied access to legal aid and visitations. 

Kurdistan Region: The Scope of Electoral Reforms and its Implications – Report

  By the Kurdish Institute for Elections (KIE): The scope of electoral reforms and its implications: Kurdistan Region political parties’ share in the upcoming elections (2021) Aram Jamal, Executive Director of KIE Dana Jamil, Elections Expert Review – Dr Harem Karem, Researcher in Democracy Executive summary This report examines the Kurdistan Region’s 2018 parliamentary elections…

Gebze Women’s Closed Prison – Political Prisoners Distress Call

By Gül Güzel: 45 arrested and convicted women, whose names I kept secret, wrote from Gebze Prison in Turkey. On the occasion of the Corona pandemic, detainees and convicts all over the world were released from prisons and in Turkey as well… However, political prisoners and convicts were excluded from this practice, other criminals were…

Turkey and Erdogan’s Dream of Empire

By Arian Mufid: Erdogan is going between west and east with his aggression. He looks at the past and thinks he can revive the Ottoman Empire in the region. What is going on in Turkey today is related to his personality and the way he was brought up in Turkey. This is a most important…

The Endless Cycles of Betrayals and Killings of the Kurds

By Dr. M. Koohzad: After the defeat of the Turkish Ottoman Empire in WWI (1914 – 1918), European victors dissected the world’s most potent Muslim Empire. In the middle of the Great War, the Allies predicted the result of the conflict and planned to take over by signing the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement. The two, a…

Recurrent Nightmares for Not Being Punished for Not Talking Kurdish in School

By Dr. M. Koohzad Generally speaking, all of the years at my elementary school were filled with joys of learning, positive energy, and good people. I am now an old retired professor. I advise my grandchildren to try hard to “enjoy learning.”  Yet, there was a sad story that I have to tell in the…

Quo Vadis Iraq?

By Harem Karem: Last year’s wave of protests against corruption and foreign interference, across central and southern Iraq, marked a critical juncture in the country’s post-war trajectory; unprecedented in scale and strength, the protesters were resolute in pursuit of lasting change. Undeterred by the violent crackdown from state and non-state forces that resulted in hundreds…

KRG Compliance with Turkish Invasion

By Arian Mufid: It is under Erdogan’s rule that Turkey is at risk of MSCI downgrade to ‘frontier’ market status, despite ranking as the world’s 20th largest economy, due to the devaluation of the lira and overall bad economic situation. This means that the MSCI index is registering increasingly large outflows of capital and Turkey…

The PKK: Criminalizing Resistance, Resisting Criminalization – An Interview with Jan Fermon

Connor Hayes speaks with Jan Fermon, lead solicitor in the case in which the Belgium Court of Cassation ruled the PKK is not a terrorist organization, about the implications of the Belgian court ruling, the PKKs broader struggle for decriminalization, and the future of resistance in the war on terror era. Jan Fermon is the…

We Mourn the Loss of Lord Rea, an Exceptional Friend of the Kurds

By Peace in Kurdistan Campaign: We salute the memory of Lord Rea, who died on 1st June age 91. Lord Rea was a staunch friend of the Kurds, patron of Peace in Kurdistan since it was founded in 1994 and respected around the world as a human rights defender. He will be much missed. Human…

Interview with Hisyar Ozsoy of the HDP on COVID-19 and its Consequences in Turkey

Dr. Jeff Miley interviews Dr. Hisyar Ozsoy, Member of Parliament and Co-Spokesperson of International Affairs for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), about the social and political consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in North Kurdistan and the rest of Turkey, and about the response of the Kurdish freedom movement.   Jeff Miley is a Lecturer of…

Unity Talks Among Syrian Kurds; A Way Forward

By Junaid Jamali: Over the course of the nine-year Syrian civil war, the Kurds in Syria have paid exorbitant prices in military and social terms. In 2018 and 2019, they lost the regions of Afrin, Ras al-Ain/Sari Kani and Gire Spi/Tell Abyad to Turkey and Turkish-backed militias, resulting in the displacement of most Kurdish residents…

Open Letter From Women To Kurdish Leaders

Open Letter from Women to: – Mr. Masoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) – Ms. Bese Hozat and Mr. Cemil Bayik, Co-Chairs of the Executive Council of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) – Mr. Lahur Talabani and Mr. Bafel Talabani, Co-Presidents of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) “Kurdistan should not become a battleground…

“Kurds Have No Friends But The Mountains”

By Muhammad Salah Balaky: Kurds with an estimated population of 35 to 40 million who have been living for centuries in the historical region of Mesepotamia, are the fourth largest ethnic group in the Middle East, inhabiting a mountainous region dividing into Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran, stretching roughly from the northwestren Zagros in Iran…

Sardasht Osman: Death Did Not Silence Him

By Arian Mufid: We are republishing this article, first published in 2012, to mark the recent 10th anniversary of the murder of Sardasht Osman. It remains relevant today. 10 years on, there is still no justice for Sardasht Osman’s family. His killers remain protected by the KRG and unpunished. At the beginning of May 2010…