May 20, 2014 – DUHOK, Kurdistan region ‘Iraq’,— The security forces of Iraqi Kurdistan ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party KDP launched operations targeting representatives of the Kurdish National Congress (KNK), as well as many the offices and members of many other organizations earlier Monday in three major cities in Iraqi Kurdistan Region. Many people are reported to have been taken into custody.
According to information now available, the operations took place in three cities – Hewlêr [Erbil], Duhok and Zakho – and targeted, among others, representatives of the KNK, members and offices of the Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party (PCDK), of Dicle News Agency’s Hewlêr bureau, the Rojava Welat Newspaper, the Patriotic Youth Center, and the Organization of Free Women of Kurdistan (RJAK). Many were arrested and a large number of documents were seized.
At least 25 people were taken into custody in the operation which targeted the offices of KNK, Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party (PÇDK), Dicle News Agency (DIHA), Roja Welat daily, Patriotic Youth’s Center, Kurdistan Free Women’s Institution (Saziya Jinên Azadixwazi Kürdistan) and Weşana Roja Welat Magazine.
KDP denies access from Maxmur Camp to Erbil [Hewlêr]
As a follow-up of Monday’s operation against the KNK, PÇDK, RJAK, Patriotic Youth’s Center and Roja Welat daily, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) is denying access from the Maxmur Camp to Hewlêr on Tuesday.
Hundreds of people on their way to work from Maxmur Martyr Rustem Cudî Camp to Maxmur have not been allowed to enter the city on Tuesday. The public security (Asayish) forces hindering the entrance are reportedly telling people to leave there, warning that their entrance in Erbil will not be allowed.
Following Monday’s raids in Duhok and Zakhoo in the morning and in Erbil in the afternoon, the KDP has had the offices of the raided institutions closed today.
It grabs attention that the KPD operation against pro-Kurdish institutions came after the Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party (PÇDK) demanded that light be shed on the disappeared at a press conference it held outside the parliament at the 17th anniversary of the Hewlêr massacre.
KNK condemns operation against Kurdish institutions in Iraqi Kurdistan region
Brussels-based Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) has released a statement strongly condemning the raids and detentions carried out by Massoud Barzani’s KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party) in the Hewlêr, Zakho and Duhok cities of Iraqi Kurdistan on 19 May.
KNK said “the only reason for this attack is political”, and called attention to the fragile process the Middle East and Kurdistan is currently going through. The statement read that; “Historic opportunities have been generated for Kurds stronger than ever today, including the opportunity for national unity. Attacks against national institutions do however stand as dangerous and a back step.”
Underlining that the attack against KNK representative goes contrary to national interests and serves only enemies, KNK condemned vehemently the attack against Kurdish institutions, and urged the KRG to immediately abandon this policy and to release all Kurdish politicians detained in the operation.
The KDP operation against Kurdish institutions has also been condemned by the Kurdish Democratic Society Congress in Europe (KCD-E) and the Federation of Kurdish Associations in Germany (YEK-KOM).
KDP lashes out at Syrian Kurdistan’s PYD for “totalitarian” policies
The KDP also lashed out at Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) for following “totalitarian policies” in Syrian Kurdistan.
Releasing a statement the KDP politburo blamed the PYD for expelling pro-KDP party leaders and officials from Syrian Kurdistan and warned the policy will lead to the destruction of the Syrian Kurdish region. The PYD is monopolizing power and has been resorting to arrests and evictions of political activists and members of opposition parties; particularly members of the Al Party, close to the KDP, and Kurdistan Democratic Party in Syria (KDPS), an offshoot of the KDP led by Massoud Barzani.
The statement further said the Kurds living under PYD rule are in less humane conditions than those living under Bashar al-Assad. KDP further said that the party expresses its utmost sympathy for the Syrian Kurds and the members of the Al Party in Syrian Kurdistan. Disputes between the PYD and the KDP has increased in the recent weeks after Kurdistan Region dug a trench on its borders with Syria Kurdish regions and the PYD shut down the offices of pro-KDP parties and expelled some politicians linked with the party from Syrian Kurdistan.
The security operations follow an ongoing dispute over the KDP’s decisions to dig a border trench between Iraqi Kurdistan and Syrian Kurdistan and to close the border crossings to Syrian Kurdistan’s refugees, amid accusations that the KDP is working together with Turkey’s AKP government against the revolution in Syrian Kurdistan.
The raids also follow the decision taken a number of days ago to proclaim the PCDK illegal after it organized a demonstration in front of the KRG’s parliament to remember the massacre committed in Hewlêr by KDP forces in 1997.
Many Kurdish organizations accuse the KDP of working together with Turkey in imposing the embargo the Syrian Kurdistan. KDP leader and Iraqi Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani accompanied Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan at a political rally in Diyarbakir earlier this year.
The KDP has decided against recognition of the newly autonomous Syrian Kurdistan’s cantons. However the PUK,www.Ekurd.net a member of the current Kurdistan government KRG, has claimed to recognize the cantons. Most main Iraqi Kurdish parties had recognized the autonomous Syrian Kurdistan administration, except the KDP.
The leaders of four small Syrian Kurdish parties, affiliated with Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani, and which opposite the ruling PYD party in Syrian Kurdistan, have met in Erbil on April 3, 2014 and merged the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syriawww.Ekurd.net (KDPS) (Al Party), the Kurdistan Union Party and two factions of the Kurdistan Freedom Party (Azadi) and established a new party PDK-S.
Political experts say Massoud Barzani, sees Syrian Kurdistan as potential political competition.
Syrian Kurds declared their own autonomous Kurdish region (Western Kurdistan, Rojava) in November 2013.
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