A medical source informed AFP that Protests in Iraq’s northern Kurdish region on Monday violent, and one young man was killed during a march against political parties.
In recent days and after the public sector pay reduced and delayed wages for months, demonstrations against the Kurdish regional government (KRG) and the region’s main parties have occurred.
Indeed, and during the recent days, demonstrators have gathered outside the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the rival Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), and smaller parties in many towns in the Sulaimaniyah region.
A medical source reported on Monday afternoon that security forces protecting a row of political party offices in the town of Chamchamal shot live rounds to disperse approaching demonstrators. The source at Chamchamal’s hospital told AFP that a 26-year-old man was shot in the chest and died, and two others were wounded.
Moreover, there was also a gathering of other protesters on Monday outside various parties’ headquarters in the town of Sayedsadeq further east. One of the protesters, who wanted to remain anonymous after they shot fire on him, related that they diffused to torch the party offices, local police headquarters and government offices, and a local official’s home.
Whereas, a security source informed AFP that dozens of demonstrators were arrested over the province for nearly a week. Although the demonstrations have intensified in towns, the central city of Sulaimaniyah has not seen the gathering of enormous numbers because of the stretched security measures.
Otherwise, the rights defenders’ concerns have been increased about security forces targeting press organizations in the region, particularly local television station NRT.
The channel’s newsroom chief Rebwar Abdulrahman informed AFP that before dawn on Monday, local security forces attacked NRT’s Sulaimaniyah bureau and stopped its live broadcast. He also related that some of the channel’s equipment had been confiscated and other equipment had been broken during the attack, saying: Stopping a channel’s broadcast is a blatant violation of the region’s press law.
In fact, and like the rest of Iraq, media outlets in the Kurdish region are almost all connected to political personalities or parties. The NRT is possessed by a member of the New Generation Movement, which is a Kurdish opposition party. Press freedoms in Kurdish Iraq have been protected by a regional law for over a decade.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported that it was very concerned by the recent shutdown that comes after NRT’s offices in the regional capital Arbil and northwest city of Duhok faced similar closings this year.
CPJ’s Ignacio Miguel Delgado said: It’s a pattern for authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan, be it in Sulaimaniyah or Arbil or Duhok, and an attempt to silence NRT for its coverage of protests that have been ongoing over unpaid salaries for public servants and lack of public services.