SILÊMANÎ, SOUTHERN KURDISTAN
Security forces at the Kurdistan Democratic Party bureau used violence against the demonstrators during the protests held last night, killing 3 young people and injuring 52 others.
The anti-government protests that have been taking place for days have intensified in the last few days. All parties were targeted and their buildings burned during demonstrations held in many cities, especially on Monday evening, against state corruption. Three young protesters were killed by KDP security forces during Monday’s protests, 52 were injured and dozens were detained.
Protest started during the night in the city market in Sharezur, in Sulaymaniyah. The crowd made fires in the streets and closed the roads to traffic. Security forces intervened against the activists with real bullets. A teenager was injured here.
According to Sharezur hospital sources, the young man who was injured in his foot was transferred to Sulaymaniyah hospital.
In the city of Derbendixan in Sulaimaniyah, a large crowd took to the streets at night and set the district governorship building and the Goran Movement building on fire. The activists, who also turned to the KDP building, were met by an armed response. An activist was injured when fire was opened against demonstrators. Likewise, the forces ensuring the security of the PUK building opened fire on the demonstrators.
In Kelar, in Germiyan, the building of the Goran movement was stoned. Security forces opened fire on the demonstrators.
During the protest held in Kifrî, also linked to Germiyan, in the evening, the PUK building was burned.
17-year-old Ako Selman was seriously injured when security forces opened fire as the building was burned. It was reported that Selman could not be saved.
Activists then turned to the buildings belonging to the KDP and Goran parties.
On Monday, a 16-year-old youth died in Chamchamal and 2 people were injured. It was learned that a young man named Adem Yahha died when KDP forces opened fire.
Clashes were also reported in the protests held in Ranya. Around 20 protesters were injured in the clashes between security forces and protesters, while many were detained. The protest lasted for about 3 hours.
Many party buildings were set on fire in the protests held in the district of Said Sadiq in Sulaymaniyah.
In Said Sadiq, the KDP, PUK, Komela Islami, Yekgirtuy Islami and Gorran buildings, the District Governorship building, the police station and the district governor’s house were set on fire. While it was stated that many people were injured in these demonstrations, a net balance sheet could not be obtained.
DOZENS DETAINED IN THE LAST WEEK
Dozens of people were detained across the region in the past week, according to local sources. However, the exact number has been announced yet. Reports of detentions are coming from many cities. No information could be obtained about the situation of the detainees.
PRESSURE ON MEDIA INCREASED
Human rights organizations are also worried about the increasing pressure of security forces on the media in the region. The police stopped live broadcast on Monday morning, by raiding NRT’s offices in Sulaymaniyah. Many items were confiscated or broken during the raid. NRT belongs to Shawar Abdulwahid, the director of the political party Naway Nwe. Almost all media outlets in the region are affiliated with political parties or political figures. Officially, freedom of the press has been under legal guarantee in the Kurdistan region for more than 10 years.
According to Iraqi state-run newspaper al-Sabah, the KRG and the federal government have reached a “fundamental agreement” regarding the provision of the public sector salaries in the Kurdistan Region. As part of the agreement, the KRG is supposed to submit 250,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) to the federal State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) along with half of the revenues collected at the border crossings. In return, it will receive a 12.67 budget share, which amounts to an expected 900 billion dinars ($756 million) per month.
A similar agreement had been reached before but was voided after the KRG failed to deliver the barrels of oils it agreed to submit. In April, the federal government of Iraq cut off all budget transfers to the KRG after the latter failed to send any of the 250,000 barrels of oil per day that it was required to under the 2019 Federal Budget Law. After failing to pay civil servants and failing to submit oil, the Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani admitted for the first time that the Region had made an energy deal with Turkey for 50 years.
The deal between the Kurdish party and Turkey was described by the KRG as “the best choice” the KRG’s eighth cabinet took at the time to resolve its economic crisis. Though the details of the agreement were not shared, it is assumed that the dirty alliance formed between the anti-Kurd Turkish state and its Kurdish counterpart, was formed on the basis of personal interests to the Barzani dynasty which has plagued the region with corruptness.
Though several officials of the KDP have since claimed that the oil-shortages in the deal with Iraq are independent of the new deal with the Anti-Kurd Erdogan regime, it has become evident with the KRG’s attempts to otherwise source funds that the Iraq-agreement was breached for Turkish relations.
On November 18, thirty-two Kurdistan Parliament’s lawmakers signed a petition calling on the parliament’s presidency to explain Barzani’s remark about the Turkey-KRG deal being the best choice to have been taken.
KRG paid the last salary on October 15 with an eighteen percent tax cut, while salaries paid in July and August were taxed by twenty-one percent.