President’s cousin kidnapped for criticising Mustafa Barzani

News and Comment by The Kurdistan Tribune:

Abdulmasawar Barzani, a cousin of the Kurdistan Regional president Masud Barzani, was last night kidnapped and threatened by armed men. Hawlati website reports that the university lecturer was bundled into a car in Erbil by two men and taken to security offices at an unknown location where he was threatened, humiliated and told to stop criticising Mustafa Barzani, the president’s father and the founder of the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

Abdulmasawar is well-known for his outspoken opposition to Barzani tribal rule in Kurdistan and had his own ‘Reformist movement’ list in the July 2009 elections.

Two days ago he gave an interview to the independent Kurdish TV channel NRT in which he spoke about the historical role of Mustafa Barzani. Abdulssalam Barzani is the son of Sheik Sleman Barzani and grandson of Sheik Abdulsalam Barzani, an heroic figure in Kurdistan’s history and a father of the Kurdish nationalist movement.

Abdulmasawar Barzani was born in 1941 and graduated from law school in 1972. He did his PhD in political economics in Vienna and is now a lecturer at the department of history at the University of Sulaymani.

He was eventually released but last night’s assault shows how Kurdistan’s ruling family cannot tolerate criticism of their rule – or their version of our history. It poses a threat to all intellectuals who want to contribute to a new Kurdistan. It happens in the middle of tentative moves by Masud Barazani towards declaring a Kurdish state. However, while we want our independence, we don’t need a failed state: we need a Kurdish state for all of the Kurdish people and not just a tiny minority.

Photo of Abdulmasawar Barzani – Hawlati

Copyright © 2012


One Response to President’s cousin kidnapped for criticising Mustafa Barzani
  1. Baqi Barzani
    March 28, 2012 | 18:03

    This is not the first time anti-KDP activists are abducted for expressing critical views of incumbent authorities in South Kurdistan!

    KDP must allow political activism and respect intellectualism.

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