Monday, May 30, 2011

Foreign and Transport Ministers to face parliament over Kuwaiti port

Sulaimaniyah, May 24 (AKnews) - The Iraqi parliament is expected to summon Iraq's Foreign Affairs and Transport Ministers to tackle the issue of a planned Kuwaiti port which is feared to cost Iraqi ports 60% of their traffic.Basra ports

Kuwait announced plans to build the Mubarak port next to Iraq's main Umm Qasr port in the gulf two weeks ago outraging Iraqi lawmakers, in particular, number of Shia politicians who have pledged to take action against the Kuwaiti government.

"It is expected that after the parliamentary recess (which ends late May), Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and Transport Minister Hadi al-Amiri will be summoned to parliament to discuss the issue," said Bakir Hama Sadiq, a Kurdish MP in the Iraqi house of representatives.

"If Kuwait plans to build the port on the Bubyan island, then Iraq's water route will be gone and any ship movement in the Umm Qasr and Khaw Zuber ports will not be possible," said Hama Sadiq.

Bubyan island

A joint committee between Kuwait and Iraq was expected to convene and solve the problem jointly, however, "Kuwait insists on building the Mubarak port," Hama Sadiq added.

The MP suggested that Iraq and Kuwait should each make compromises: Kuwait could build the port with Iraq's consent, but the port must not threaten Iraq's marine activity.

"The issue between Kuwait and Iraq over the Mubarak port is partially related to transportation and partially to diplomatic relations, therefore, both Zebari and al-Amiri will clarify the issue in parliament so that we understand what is going on and then see where we stand," said fellow Kurdish deputy, Mahmood Osman.

Iraq has witnessed protests against the construction of the port, particularly in the port city of Basra, 550 km south of Baghdad, calling on the Iraqi government to intervene and stop Kuwait going ahead with their plans.

Iraqi economists have warned that the Iraqi ports could lose 60% of their business as the Kuwaiti port will paralyze their traffic.

At least one Shia political bloc has been highly critical of the Kuwait port plan and has vowed to take action.

Earlier this week, an Iraqi parliamentarian from the Ahrar bloc, loyal to the Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, warned that his list was ready to act in a way that will "surprise all the political blocs" in Iraq in reaction to the proposed construction of the Kuwaiti port.

The foreign relations committee in the Iraqi Parliament has warned that xenophobic statements targeting Kuwait should be guarded against in order to avoid tensions in bilateral relations with the neighboring state.

Written by Raber Y. Aziz, Idris Abu Bakir contributed to this story

24/05/2011 09:55


Sadrists promise "surprise" response to Kuwaiti port issue

Basra, May 21 (AKnews) - An Iraqi parliamentarian from the Ahrar bloc, loyal to the Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, has warned that his list is ready to act in a way that will "surprise all the political blocs" in Iraq in protest over the construction of a Kuwaiti port that's expected to threaten the trade of Iraq's principal port in Basra.Basra ports

The dispute over Kuwait's Mubarak port, positioned close to Iraq's main port in Basra, 550 km south of Baghdad, goes back to two weeks ago when Kuwait announced its plans for the hub which Iraqi economists said would cost the Iraqi ports 60% of their traffic.

Kuwait plans outraged Iraqi lawmakers, in particular, Shia politicians leading to a heated debate over whether Kuwait has the right to build the port or if the management of shared waters should be a joint operation.

Awwad Uday, a Sadrist MP from Basra, said his bloc had "taken a path no other bloc had taken towards the Kuwaiti port issue".

"Ahrar bloc, under instructions from its leader Moqtada al-Sadr, is preparing for action towards Kuwait that will surprise all political parties in Iraq regarding the Mubarak port," Uday said.

Uday's statement comes as the foreign relations committee in the Iraqi Parliament warned last week that xenophobic statements targeting Kuwait should be guarded against to avoid tensions in bilateral relations.

"All Iraqi parties and communities, whether political or social, are waiting for the (Sadrist) Current to take action or decisive move that would resolve this issue in favor of Iraq, after the government failed to do so and blessed the construction by Kuwait" The Sadrist Mp said.

Last week, Basra province witnessed protests against the construction of the Mubarak port, calling on the Iraqi government to intervene and stop Kuwait going ahead with their plans.

Relations between Iraq and the Gulf States had already been ruffled by statements issued by Iraqi Shia MPs over the protests in Bahrain where the Shia majority came ot in protest against their Sunni rulers.

Iraq was on track to join the economically powerful Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) but it is believed its bid was rejected due to the stance taken by the political blocs and the demonstrations organized by some Iraqi deputies, most notably in the Shia-dominated cities of Najaf and Karbala.

The Omani minister of foreign affairs told AKnews last week that Iraq's rejected bid to join the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was due to its "unwise" political approach.

The position of the Shia Iraqi lawmakers sparked criticism at home also. Sunni Arabs said such a stance would adversely affect Iraqi-gulf relations and the reconciliation process between Iraq and Kuwait. Iraq still pays large sums of compensation to Kuwait each year following the Saddam Hussein-led 1991 invasion of the neighboring state.

But the Sadrist MP confirmed that the Sadr Current "pledges to the Iraqi people not to allow any party or state to harm the Iraqi economy...whatever the result"

Written by Raber Y. Aziz, reporting by Nour anl-Tamimi (AKnews)

21/05/2011 11:19

Likely behind the curtains US-Iraqi deal sparks controversy

Baghdad, May 19 (AKnews) – An Independent Iraqi lawmaker's assumption that the Iraqi government is planning to strike a deal with the US in August to keep some 20,000 US troops in Iraq beyond the 2011 deadline has sparked a row between the political blocs.US troops in Iraq, US army in Iraq

The Kurds believe that the presence of American forces in Iraq, particularly in the disputed areas, may help to prevent ethnic tensions from developing into a conflict, while a Shia bloc, following the cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, remains vehemently opposed the US military remaining.

Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army waged a deadly war against the US forces and the Iraqi army in 2004 following the closure of Mr. Sadr's newspaper and attempts to arrest him.

The Sunni Arabs have also voiced disapproval of the US forces presence beyond 2011 in Iraq. The Sunnis lost their 30-year grip of power in the US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq.

"There is an ongoing behind the curtains agreement between Baghdad and Washington to extend the stay of 20,000 US troops" says maverick parliament member Sabah al-Sa'idi, "this is no media leak, but agreements between the political blocs to hold on to the seats of power".

Al-Sa'idi says the Iraqi forces can maintain security and that security commanders have been pressed upon by the higher authorities.

He accused the "invading forces" of "looting the wealth of the country".

Meanwhile, the U.S. claim to stick to their plans to pull all troops out of Iraq by the end of the year, the woman in charge of leading the reconstruction of Najaf for the U.S. said today.

Karen Malzahn, director of the Provincial Reconstruction Team, told AKnews: "Until now there are no changes or updates to the withdrawal. Things are moving towards the application of Strategic Framework Agreement terms."

The US currently keeps some 47,000 soldiers in Iraq who are expected to leave the country by the end of Dec. 2011 as agreed upon by Iraq and the US in a 2008 accord.

A member of the Kurdish Blocs Coalition (KBC) in Baghdad, Ashwaq Jaf, said Iraq needs a new deal to keep some of the US forces to maintain security in the disputed areas.

"Those areas need neutral forces to prevent the bloodshed of all the present communities," said Jaf, "and until article 140 of the Iraqi constitution is fully implemented, thus resolving many of the issues".

Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution outlines a three-stage process to resolving the disputes over areas contested by the Kurdistan Regional Government and the central government in Baghdad.

The process involves a period of normalization – whereby the security environment is stabilized – followed by the restoration of the original demographic balance (which was altered by the former Iraqi regime, often at the expense of indigenous Kurds), and culminating with a referendum, which will enable the local people to decide on the constitutional status of these areas.

The KBC spokesman said earlier today that describing the US forces as "invaders" is "illegal" because they are in Iraq under a US-Iraqi agreement having "freed" Iraq from the former dictator in 2003.

The Sadrists by contrast have expressed strong opposition to the US presence in Iraq.

The Sadr bloc has threatened on several occasions to mobilize the Mahdi Army which was frozen in 2006 by al-Sadr as a precondition to engaging in the political process.

A member of the Ahrar bloc that follows Moqtada al-Sadr, Uday Awwad told AKnews: "Moqtada al-Sadr will take a stance if a new agreement is struck to keep the US forces in Iraq beyond the end of this year".

He did not rule out his bloc withdrawing from the government if the suspected deal is real.

The Sadrist MP said his bloc would organize rallies across many Iraqi provinces to to press on the government and the parties that want to uphold any deal that extends the "invading forces'" stay in Iraq.

The Sunni-backed al-Iraqiya list, however, has voiced concern that Iran might meddle in Iraq if the US forces withdraw. List member, Wahda al-Jumaili, expressed concern that the Iraqi forces might not be ready to take over security responsibilities.

"Iran has aspirations in Iraq and will fill the vacuum that the US forces leave behind," al-Jumaili said.
She also said that there are already parties that "implement its (Iran's) agenda in the (Iraqi) political process".

Iraqi army chief, Babakir Zebari, a Kurd, has several times said that his forces will not be ready to protect Iraq's borders, air space and waters before 2020.

The Iraqi Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki, said a few days ago that the issue of the US forces remaining in Iraq will be deiced by the political bloc leaders.

Written by Raber Y. Aziz, reporting by Hadi al-Issami


19/05/2011 17:36


NC deputy: Iraqi leaders privately seek U.S. military extension

Erbil, May 14 (AKnews) – While publicly calling for US withdrawal from Iraq, most Iraqi leaders prefer the extension of U.S. forces stay in Iraq, says Ali Hussein al-Tamimi, an Iraqi member of troops withdrawal iraq hilla

Tamimi, an independent MP who belongs to the ruling coalition of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, states that politicians favor a longer U.S. mission to secure their own careers.

"Under the pretext of training the Iraqi security forces, political leaders in Iraq are calling for the extension of U.S. forces in the country, in order to maintain their own power", said Tamimi, who has no prior record of statements on this issue.

The "U.S.-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement" (SOFA) from 2008 has set a time-table for the withdrawal of U.S. troops. According to SOFA, the last U.S. soldier has to leave by December 31st, 2011.

Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki, though he did not publicly state his position towards a U.S. military extension, said on Thursday, the decision would be up to the political leaders.

Maliki said, the government would ask parliament to vote for a resolution on this issue, if a majority of the leaders wants to keep U.S. forces beyond 2011 and has made a decision about the details – such as the number of troops and where they will be stationed.

Iraqi parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi and Iraq's military chief Babakir Zebari have already voiced their support for the U.S. stay extension.

Zebari, chief of general staff of the Iraqi army, said in an interview with AKnews earlier that the withdrawal of the U.S. forces from Iraq before 2020 will greatly harm the country because Iraq can not protect its air space, waters and borders at least for another nine years

Persistently voicing calls for the U.S. withdrawal are the Sadrists – followers of the hard-line Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

Last month, Sadr threatened to mobilize his frozen Mahdi Army – a militia strictly loyal to Sadr, which was engaged in deadly clashes with the U.S. and Iraqi forces in southern provinces following the 2003 closure of Sadr's newspaper and attempts to arrest him.

Sadr froze the Mahdi Army in 2007 as a precondition to engaging in the political process

A member of the Sadr Current's Ahrar Bloc, Amir al-Kinani, told AKnews that "the security situation in Iraq will improve upon the US forces withdrawal".

"Iraqi military commanders, throughout history, have been fighting to liberate their land from foreign invasion and not been calling for an extension of their stay", he said in reference to Zebari's concerns about the US forces departure.

"Eight years after the fall of the Iraqi regime, the security forces should be ready to maintain security and protect the country", Kinani said.

The United States have currently 47.000 soldiers in Iraq, about a fourth of its force level during the invasion of 2003.

Writing by Raber Y. Aziz, contribution form Karzan Karim


14/05/2011 15:59


Economists: Kuwait port will cut Umm Qasr traffic by 60%

Baghdad, May 14 (AKnews) – Iraq's main port will lose 60 per cent of its business and major new port plans will be scuppered if Kuwait goes ahead with plans to develop a port just across its border with the country, economists have said.

ship docking at umm qasr port‭, ‬basra
The Kuwaitis laid the foundation stone to kick off the construction of Mubarak port, just over the border from the site of a new Iraqi port currently in construction, and close to Umm Qasr, Basra, Iraq's only deep water port last Tuesday.

The move has flared historic tensions between the two states.

Faleh Kadhim, an Iraqi ports expert, said the Kuwaiti port plans are in reaction to Iraq's attempts to compete with the Red Sea route currently used for most goods traveling from East Asia to Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, through the construction of Al Faw Grand Port, together with a new railway system.

The US$6 billion Iraqi project is part of a drive to modernize public infrastructure and kick-start Iraq's economy now that major new oil contracts have been signed. Goods would be able to reach Europe overland more quickly than ships might reach Egypt's Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean to the Red Sea.

Research carried out by Iraqi economist Riyadh Jawad indicated a 60 per cent drop in Umm Qasr traffic was likely and the viability of the new port challenged.

He said: "This will be devastating for Iraq's plans. The government has to sign a long-term agreement with Kuwait to jointly administer water routes between the two countries, in addition to implementing strategic water projects that would enhance the capacity of both countries without affecting each other."

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered the formation of an emergency committee to travel to Kuwait immediately to tackle the dispute between the two countries.

Member of the International Arab Maritime Organization (AMO) Yasin Abd al-Ilah said: "Mubarak Port... will steal Basra's main port's economic value as vessels will be blocked from entering into the deeps of the Khawr Abdullah (joint Iraqi-Kuwaiti waters).

"The Emergency Committee set up by the government needs to move quickly to overcome the crisis between the two countries. Iraq needs to open a new page with Kuwait in economic relations."

Mubarak port will be built on Boubyan Island in Kuwait, just a few kilometers away from the site of the Al Faw project, by Korean company Hyundai. It is projected to reach completion by 2016 at a cost of $1.1bn and will process 1.8m containers a year by 2015.

Iraq-Kuwait relations have just started to normalize after efforts to resolve Saddam-era conflicts.

Joint committees have recently been formed to address major issues currently blocking reconciliation, including the payment of reparations to Kuwait for the Gulf war, the disputed position of the border, Kuwaitis missing in Iraq since the conflict and the management of joint-owned oil fields.

The Ministry of Transportation claims that other countries in the region are lining up to voice their opposition to the plans due to the projected effect it will have on their economic interests and the traffic through their ports.

Iraq has five commercial ports and two oil ports, Umm Qasr is currently the only one capable of dealing with deep water vessels.

By Raber Y. Aziz and Patrick Smith

14/05/2011 14:25


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Minister of Transport warns Kuwait and offers resignation in port conflict

Erbil, May 25 (AKnews) – In the ongoing conflict over a new Kuwaiti port at the Iraqi border, Minister of Transport Hadi al Amiri called on Kuwait to respond to Iraqi demands and announced his resignation if Iraq further delays its own port project.

Hadi al-AmiriAmiri said, Iraq does not object the new Kuwaiti Mubarak Port, but said that there are Iraqi concerns that have to be taken seriously. Otherwise Iraq may call on the UN Security Council to take action.

"The Council of Ministers puts the interests of Iraq above everything else and will not allow any violation of its territory or any harm to its economy", Amiri said and added that this particularly applies to the business of Iraq's ports.

Two weeks ago, the Kuwaitis laid the foundation stone to kick off the construction of Mubarak port, just over the border from the site of a new Iraqi port currently in construction, and close to Umm Qasr, Basra, Iraq's only deep water port.

Amiri spoke to journalist in Basra, from where a special committee of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Transport was heading towards Kuwait to get first-hand information on Kuwait's plans for its new Mubarak Port.

He pointed out that the Kuwaiti port construction might violate UN Security Council Resolution No. 833 from 1993, which ultimately defines the border between both countries.

The Kuwaiti embassy in Iraq recently assured that Kuwait seeks to regulate the situation in the Arabic Gulf with Iraq.

Delayed construction of al-Faw

Amiri also said, the Iraqi government – that he belongs to – should speed up the construction of its own new port in the area, al-Faw.

"The federal government must provide everything that is necessary to establish Faw Port", Amiri said. Otherwise he would resign from office.

This comment might be a sign of growing conflicts within the Iraqi government about this issue.

Criticism on Iraqi government

ship docking at umm qasr port‭, ‬basraEarlier this week, local politicians from Basra province had argued that the federal government does not do enough to protect Iraqi interests.

On Monday, Ahmad al Sulaiti, vice-chairman of the Provincial Council in Basra, criticized the Iraqi government, respectively the Iraqi parliament, for being unable to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the issue.

­He was supported by the former Iraqi Minister of Transport, Amer Abdul Jabbar, who said he witnesses "a strange silence by the Iraqi government."

National controversy and anti-Kuwaiti remarks

In a statement released on Wednesday, al-Iraqiya List described the government's position regarding this issue as "national", asking all political forces to support the government.

Meanwhile, Habib Hamza al-Tarafi, member of the National Coalition, pointed out that Iraq is dependent on good relations to its neighbors; therefore the issue should be resolved by diplomatic means between the two countries.

"We are concerned that some political parties want to escalate the dispute between Kuwait and Iraq", Tarafi explained. "There are laws that rule the construction of ports in territorial waters."

On Monday, former Transport Minister Amer Abdul Jabbar had called for the federal government and local authorities to close Safwan port at the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border to prevent Kuwaiti goods and travelers coming to Iraq, in order to put pressure on Kuwait.

On Saturday, Awwad Uday, a Sadrist MP from Basra, warned that his list is ready to act in a way that will "surprise all the political blocs" in Iraq, adding thatit had "taken a path no other bloc had taken towards the Kuwaiti port issue".

And last week, Arkan Arshad, member of the parliamentary Committee on Foreign Relations, had to ask politicians to abstain from xenophobic statements against targeting Kuwait.

"Members of parliament have the freedom to make statements, but the correct diplomatic channel for comments is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs", Ashad said, after officials and activists had called for the closure of the Kuwaiti embassy and expulsion of their ambassador from Baghdad.

Threat for Iraqi ports and relations to Kuwait

Mubarak port will be built on Boubyan Island in Kuwait, just a few kilometers away from the site of Iraq's Al Faw port project, by Korean company Hyundai. Mubarak Port is projected to reach completion by 2016 at a cost of $1.1bn and will process 1.8m containers a year by 2015.

Iraq fears that the construction of the new port will take business away from their ports and effect fishermen working in the Gulf. According to economists, Iraq's main port will lose 60 per cent of its business if Kuwait goes ahead with its plans.

Historic tensions have been flared by the announcement. Iraq-Kuwait relations have just started to normalize after effort to resolve conflicts that arose during Sadddam Hussein's time in power.

Joint committees have recently been formed to address major issues currently blocking reconciliation, including the payment of reparations to Kuwait for the Gulf war, the disputed position of the border, Kuwaitis missing in Iraq since the conflict and the management of joint-owned oil fields.

By Christopher V. Unger
Sirwa Horami, Noor al-Tamimi, Hasoon al-Haffar and Haider Ibrahim contributed to this story


25/05/2011 20:07

Thursday, May 12, 2011

قوبادی جەلیزادە: دەبێ مزگەوت و كایەی ڕۆشنبیری جیا بكرێنەوە و چیتر "مزگەوتسالاری" نەبێت

هەولێر، 12 ئایار/مایۆ (ئاكانیوز) –نووسەر و شاعیر قوبادی جەلیزادە كە چامەیەكی هەرای لە نێوان ڕۆشنبیران و مامۆستایانی ئاینی لێ كەوتەوە، ئەو دۆخەی ئێستەی هەرێمی كوردستان بە "مزگەوتسالاری" ناو دەبات و پێی وایە كوردستان پێویستیی بە گۆڕانكارییەكی ڕیشەیی هەیە و دەبێت مزگەوت و كایە ڕۆشنبیرییەكان لە یەك جیا بكرێنەوە. Qubadi Jalil Zada

لە چەند ڕۆژی ڕابردوودا، داواكاری گشتیی هەولێر داوایەكی لەسەر جەلیزادە تۆمار كردووە بۆ ئەوەی بە تۆمەتی باسكردنی لەفزی جەلالە "بەشێوەیەكی ناشیرین" دادگەیی بكرێت. بەڵام جەلیزادە پێی وایە ئەو داوایە لەژێر پاڵەپەستۆی ئەو گوتاربێژە بووە كە قسەی لەسەر كتێبەكەی ئەو كردبوو پێش ئەوەی بڵاو بكرێتەوە.

جەلیزادە پێی وایە ئەو پێی لە هیچ پیرۆزییەك نەناوە و "وشە"ش نیشتیمانی ئەوە و بەرگری لە نیشتیمانی خۆی دەكات و لە نووسین ناوەستێت. بێجگە لەوەی ئەو شاعیرە پێی وایە كە مزگەوت خەریكە ڕۆڵی دەزگا چاودێرییەكانی سەردەمی بەعس بگێڕن لە بڵاوبوونەوەی كتێبدا كە هەر شتێك لەگەڵ ئەودا نەگونجێت ڕێگە بە بڵاوبوونەوەی نەدات.

لەم دیمانەیەكدا جەلیزادە باسی دوا پێشهاتەكانی ئەو كێشەیە دەكات

پرسیار: بیستمان لەبەردەم داواكاری گشتیی هەولێر ئامادە بوویت بۆ لێكۆڵینەوە لەبارەی ئەو كۆمەڵە شیعرەی ماوەیەك لەمەوبەر بڵاوكردنەوەی قەدەغە كرا، ئەمە چۆن بوو؟

وەڵام: زۆر بەداخەوە سەرۆكایەتیی داواكاری گشتیی هەولێر سكاڵایەكی لە دژم تۆمار كردووە، لەسەر من و كاك بەدران، بەڕێوەبەری دەزگای ئاراس و لە ڕۆژی 7ی مانگ لە سلێمانی بەڕەسمی ئاگەدار كرامەوە كە دەبێ لە ماوەی سێ ڕۆژ لە بنكەی پۆلیسی ئاشتی ئامادە بم ئەگەر ئامادە نەبم ئەوە ڕێوشوێنی یاسایم لەگەڵ دەكرێ. منیش هەر لەبەر ئەوەی خۆم یاساناسم و ماوەی 15-16 ساڵێك وەكو دادوەر كارم كردووە ئیتر پابەند بووم و چووم بۆ بنكەكە. لەوێ بەڕاستی پَشوازییەكی گەرمم لێ كرا لەلایەن برادەرانی پۆلیس، من و محەمەد موكریی ڕۆماننوس بووین، ئێمەیان ناسی و تەنانەت هەندێكیان ڕەسمیشیان لەگەڵمان گرت. ترسی ئەوەم هەبوو كە بە ناشیرینی پێشوازیم لێ بكرێ بەڵام ڕێك بەپێچەوانەوە بوو. من لەوێ قسەی خۆم كرد و ئیفادەی خۆم دا، لە قسەكانمدا گوتم ئەو كتێبەی من لەبەرئەوەی بڵاو نەكراوەتەوە و نەچووتە بازاڕ و خەڵك نەیبینیوە و قەدەخە كراوە بۆیە هیچ تاوانێك دروست ناكات. لەبەردەم دادوەریش هەر وام گوت و داوام كرد بەر بدرێم چونكە دەقی مادەكە دەڵێ دەبێ "بەعەلەنی" لەفزی جەلالە بە خراپ بە كار بێت تا ببێتە تاوان یان سیفەتی مرۆیی بدرێت بە خوا. مادام بڵاویش نەبووەتەوە و عەلەنییەتی تێدا نەبووە كەواتە سیفەتی مرۆییی بەئاشكرای تێدا نییە و تاوان دروست ناكات. من داوام لە دادوەر كرد كێشەكە دا بخات و بەرم بدات، بەڵام ئەوە بوو تا ڕۆژی دادگەیییكردنەكە بە دەستەبەریی 1 ملیۆن دینار بەر درام و موكری ڕۆمانووس بوو بە كەفیلم. ئەو ماوەیەی ناو بنكەی پۆلیسی دادگە نێزیكەی تا كۆتایی دەوامی ڕەسمیی خایاند، لە ڕووی دەرونییەوە شەكەت و ماندوو بووین. كێشەكەش لە قۆناغی لێكۆڵینەوە تەواو بێ پێم وایە ڕەوانەی دادگەی پێوەندیدار بكرێم كە بۆی هەیە دادگەی كەتن بێ و سەرەنجامی كێشەكە لەوێ یەكلایی دەكرێتەوە.

پرسیار: ئەو داوایەی لەسەرت تۆمار كراوە پێوەندیی بەو گوتارخوێنەی هەولێرەوە هەیە؟

جەلیزادە: ئەو كێشەیە وەكو خۆم بە وردی لێم كۆڵیوەتەوە، ئەو گوتاربێژەی مزگەوت چەند جارێك سەردانی داواكاری گشتیی كردووە و نێزكەی خستوویەتییە ژێر پاڵەپەستۆوە، بەداخەوەش كە لە هەموو داوودەزگەكانی دەوڵەت خەڵكی وا هەن وەكو ئەو مەلایە بیر دەكەنەوە. ئەو برادەرەی من بینیم لە داواكاری گشتی زۆر توند قسەی لەگەڵم دەكرد بەڵام منیش بە زانیاریی یاسایی وەڵامم دەدایەوە. هەستم كرد ئەو لە قاڵبە دینییە سەلەفییەكەوە من دەدوێنێ نەك وەكو تۆمەتبارێك لە كێشەیەكدا. زمانێكی توند و زبری هەبوو لەگەڵم، بەڵام من بە نەرمییەوە وەڵامم دەدایەوە.

وەڵام: تۆ ماوەیەكی زۆر لە یاسادا كارت كردووە، ئەگەر خۆت لە كاتی كاری رەسمیدا وەكو دادوەر كێشەیەكی لەوجۆرە بهاتبووایە پێشت هەڵوێستتان چی دەبوو؟

جەلیزادە: دەكرێ داوا لەسەر هەر كەسێ كە جێی ئەوە بێ بە تۆمەتبار حسێب بكرێت، تۆماربكرێ. وشەی "تۆمەتبار" واتە تۆ گومانت لە كەسێك هەیە شتێكی ئەنجام دابێت. بەشێوەیەكی ئاسایی، ڕێوشوێنی یاسایی دەڕوا، بەڵام تا چەند تۆمەتبار دەبێ بە تاوانبار ئەوە گرینگە. لای من وەكو دادوەر، نەك وەكو شاعیر، نەك وەكو بۆچوونی خۆم، ئەگەر ئەو كەسە بەڵگەی لە سەر نەبوو بەری دەدەم چونكە هیچ عەلەنیەتێكی تێدا نییە چونكە بڵاو نەبووەتەوە و خەڵك نەیبینیوە. تۆ لە ماڵی خۆت قەسیدەیەك دەنووسیت، گریمان ئەو قەسیدەیە هەستی خەڵكیش بریندار دەكات، ئەمە هیچ تاوانێك دروست ناكات چونكە هەر لای خۆتە، بەڵام ئەگەر تۆ بڵاوت كردەوە و لە كۆڕێك خوێندتەوە ئەو كات "ئەگەر بەڕاستی تاوان دروست بكات" ئەوا ڕێوشوێنی یاساییت لەگەڵدا دەكەم.

ئاكانیوز: پێت وایە قسەكردن لەسەر شیعر و كتێب لەلایەن مامۆستایانی ئاینییەوە بەرەو كوێ دەچێت؟

وەڵام: ماوەیەكی درێژە هەست دەكەم مزگەوت دەیەوێ ببێتە دەسەڵاتێكی تر، یان مزگەوت بە تەواوی دەیەوێ دەست بخاتە ناو كایەی رۆشنبیرییەوە. بەو دەستخستنە كایەی ڕۆشنبیرییەوە، من وای دەبینم، مزگەوت دەیەوێ جێی دەزگا چاودێرییەكانی سەردەمی بەعس بگرێتەوە كە هیچ كتێبێك نەدەكەوتە بازاڕ بێ ئەوەی بە ژێر چاودێرییەكی زۆر توندوتیژی سەردەمی بەعس یان فیكری بەعسیدا تێپەڕێ. من وای دەبینم لە كوردستان كە داوودەزگە زیندووەكانی دەوڵەت ئەو سانسۆرەیان نەهێشتووە، ئێستە مزگەوت دەیەوێت دەوری ئەو دەزگە چاودێرییانەی سەردەمی بەعس ببینێت و هەر شتێك كە لەگەڵ فكری ئەودا نەگونجێ، مەرجیش نییە هەڵە بێت، بەڵام لەگەڵ فكرێ ئەودا نەگونجێت، ئیتر نەیەوێت بڵاو ببێتەوە و بكەوێتە بازاڕەوە. پێش منیش، چەندان ساڵ پێش ئێستە، هەڵمەتێكی توند لە دژی شێركۆ بێكەس دەستی ئەنجام درا لەسەر چامەیەك، هەتا فتوای كوشتنی دەرچوو. بەم دواییە فەرهاد پیرباڵ و زانا خەلیل و حەمە كاكەڕەش هەمان حاڵَەتی منیان تووش بوو. بەڵام من ڕەنگە من بەردەستتر بم لە ئەوانی تر كە هەندێكیان لە دەرەوە دەژین. ئەمە حاڵەتێكی بەردەوامە من یەكەم كەس نیم و دوا كەسیش نابم. بۆیە من داواكارم كە دەسەڵات خۆی سنوورێك بۆ ئەمە دابنێت چۆن هەندێك كەس دەڵێن دەبێت حزب و حكوومەت لێك جیا ببنەوە ئاواش دەڵێین مزگەوت و كایە ڕۆشنبیرییەكان لێك جیا بكرێنەوە.

پرسیار: پێشَتر ئەو كتێبە، یان وردتر بڵێین ئەو شیعرەی هەراكەی لێ كەوتەوە، لە هیچ شوێنی تر بڵاو بووەتەوە پێش ئەوەی لە هەولێر لە دەزگەی ئاراس چاپ بكرێت؟

وەڵام: ئەو قەسیدەیە، لە سێ چوار كۆڕدا لە دهۆك و سلێمانی خوێندوومەتەوە و پاشان پێشانگەیەك لە سلێمانی كرایەوە لەسەر شێوەی شَوەكاری بۆ كۆمەڵێك شاعیر كە 20 كەس دەبوون، زیاتر لە حەفتەیەك لە گۆڕەپانێكی سەرەكیی سلێمانیدا ئەو تابلۆیانە هەڵواسران. كەسیش كێشەی لەگەڵ چامەكەمدا نەبوو. زۆر كەس دەهاتن دەیانگوت با لەگەڵ ئەو تابلۆی قەسیدەیەت، هەر ئەوەی كێشەی لێ كەوتووەتەوە، وێنەت لەگەڵ بگرین. دەتوانم بڵێم ئەو چامە هەڵواسراوە زۆرترین جەماوەری هەبوو و زۆرترین خەڵكی تێئاڵابوو. حەز دەكەم ئەوەشتان پێ ڕابگەیەنم كە چامەكە لە گۆڤار و ڕۆژنامەشدا بڵاو كراوەتەوە و كراوەتە سوێدی و ئینگلیزیش.

پرسیار: لەبەرچی كێشەتان تەنیا لە هەولێر بۆ دروست بوو؟

وەڵام: بەبۆچوونی من، وا تێدەگەم ئەو كێشەیە بەقەد ئەوەی ڕووی لە دەزگەی ئاراسە ئەوەندە ڕووی لە من نییە، چونكە ئەگەر لە كۆگای یەكێك ئەو كتێبە بردراوە یان دزراوە، هەر ناوێكی لێ بنێین، پێش ئەوەی بكەوێتە بازاڕەوە و یەكێك بیبات بیداتە مەلایەك بۆ ئەوەی گوتاری لەسەر بدات لە ڕۆژی هەینی، ئەوە دەلیلی ئەوەیە كە پلانێك یان بەرنامەیەك هەیە بۆ برینداركردنی ئەو دەزگەیە بەر لە برینداركردنی من. وەكو گوتم، من ناڵێم خەڵكی سلێمانی بیریان كراوەترە یان مەلاكانی ئەوێ مۆدێرنترن لە مەلاكانی هەولێر چونكە من دڵنیام دەستێك هەبووە لەپشت ئەو كێشەوە.

پرسیار: ڕۆڵی داوودەزگەكانی دەوڵەت لە مامەڵەكردن لەگەڵ پاراستنی ئازادی ڕادەبڕین و نووسین چۆن دەبینی؟

وەڵام: من ئەگەر ئەو كێشەیەی خۆم بە نموونە بێنمەوە، كەس داكۆكیی لێ نەكردم. ڕاستە داوودەزگەكانی دەوڵەت بە ڕووكەش وا پێشان دەدەن كە هەموو كەس مافی پیادەكردنی ئازادیی ڕادەربڕینی هەیە بەڵام كاتێك كە شتێك تۆ پێت وایە هێڵی سوور نیە و مەلایەك یان گوتاربێژێك پێی وایە هێڵی سوورە، بەداخەوە دەزگەكانی دەوڵەت دەچنە پاڵ مەلاكە. من ئەندامی یەكێتیی دادوەرانی كوردستانم، ئەندامی یەكێتی مافپەروەرانی كوردستانم و ئەندامی یەكێتیی نووسەرانی كوردستانیشم، بەڵام لەو هەڵمەتە توندەی كرایە سەر من، تا گەیشتە ڕادەی تەكفیركردن، هیچ یەكێك لەوانە قسەیان نەكرد. ئێستەش من وەكو تۆمەتبارێكی ئاسایی دەچمە بەردەم دادوەر و مامەڵەیەكی ئاسایی وەكو تۆمەتبارم لەگەڵ دەكرێ و ڕەچاوی ئەوە ناكرێ كە من سی و ئەوەندە ساڵە لە بواری دادوەریدا كارم كردووە و 15-16 ساڵیش وەكو دادوەر كارم كردووە. من تۆمەتبارم لەبەر ئەوەی ئەوان پێیان وایە من پێم لە موقەدەساتی خەڵك ناوە. چامەی تازە زۆربەیان تەمومژاوین و زۆر خوێندنەوە هەڵدەگرن، ئەوان تەنیا ڕووكەشەكەی دەبینن. ئەسڵەن ئەو چامەیەی من كە كێشەی لەسەرە چامەیەكی عیرفانی و خواناسییە بەڵام ئەوان بەداخەوە هیچ لە ئەدەب تێناگەن و هیچ شارەزایییەكیان لە شیعری تازە نییە و وای دەخوێننەوە من گاڵتەم بە لەفزی جەلالە كردووە. لەبەرئەوە، هەڵسەنگاندنی دەقێكی ئەدەبی دەبێ پسپۆڕكی ڕەخنەگری ئەدەبی بیكا نەك مامۆستایەكی ئایینی.

پرسیار: لە ڕۆژگاری ئەمڕۆماندا، توێژی مەلا یان ڕۆشنبیران لەلای دەسەڵات كاریگەرییان زیاترە؟

وەڵام: حەمە سەعید حەسەن قسەیەكی زۆر جوانی كرد دەڵێ "هەزار ڕۆشنبیر كۆ كەیتەوە ناكاتە بەرامبەر یەك مەلا لای دەسەڵات"، ئەو ناڵێ ئەمە بیری دەسەڵاتە بەڵام بە حوكمی كۆمەڵگە وای لێ هاتووە دەسەڵات دەستی بۆ مەلا درێژ بكات و پشت لە ڕۆشنبر بكات، لەبەر ئەوەی كۆمەَڵگەیەكی ئیسلامیە، كولتوورێكی ئیسلامییە، كولتوورێك كە ڕەگی هەزار ساڵەی داكوتاوە. بۆیە هەردەم ترسێك لە مەلا هەیە، ترسێكی زۆر ئەزەلییە. جگە لەوەی دەسەڵات پێی وایە ئەگەر مەلایەك بدۆڕێنی ڕەنگە لە هەڵبژاردنی داهاتوودا دەنگ بدۆڕێنی. بۆیە كە دەڵێین دین یان ئیسلام مەسەلەیەكی بڤەیە ناكرێ قسەی لەسەر بكرێ، لە كاتێكدا لای من وا نییە هەمو مەسەلەیەك دەكرێ قسەی لەسەر بكرێ و ڕای جیاوازمان لەبارەیەوە هەبێت. من پێم وایە مەلای زۆر ڕۆشنبیریش هەن كە لەگەڵ ئەو مەلا توندانە نین كە شەڕ بە ئێمە دەفرۆشن.

پرسیار: پێت وایە لە دادگە فایلەكە لە بەرژەوەندیی تۆدا تەواو بێت؟

وەڵام: من نازانم. ناتوانم قسە بكەم تا سەرەنجام دادوەر بڕیار دەدات، ئەو كات خۆی دەزانێت ئایا بەڵگە هەیە لە دژی من یان نا.

پرسیار: ئەگەر لەبەرژەوەندیی تۆ تەواو نەبوو، پێت وایە ئەمە زەنگێكی وشیاركەرەوەیە كە ئازادیی ڕادەربڕین لە مەترسیدایە؟

وەڵام: هەر بڵاونەكردنەوەی ئەو كۆمەڵە شیعرەم بەشێك لە ئازادییەكانمی بەرتەسك كردووەتەوە. بەرتەسككردنەوەی ئازادی كار دەكاتە سەر توانای داهێنانیش. دوای ئەو كێشەیە، هەر كات دەست دەدەمە قەڵەمەكەم بۆ ئەوەی چامەیەكی بنووسم، كە پێشتر هیچ هەستم بە سانسۆر نەدەكرد، ئێستە هەست دەكەم شمشێرێك لەپشت سەرمەوەیە، وا هەست دەكەم هەردەم مەلایەك لە پشت سەرمە بە ڕیشی درێژ و عەمامەوە گوێم ڕادەكێشێت. هەمیشە هەست دەكەم دەستم دەلەرزێت بەڵام بۆ مەسەلەی دادگە ئەگەر من لە تۆمەتبارەوە ببم بە تاوانبار ئەوا حەز دەكەم بزانن كە ئەو ماددەیەی حومەكەی پێ دەردەكرێ مادەی 372ە كە سزاكەی تا سێ ساڵ گرتنە یان غەرامەیە. من دەرەنجامم بەلاوە گرینگ نییە ئەوەندەی ئەوە بەلامەوە گرینگە مزگەوت یان مینبەری مزگەوت ئێستە دەنگێكی بڵندترە، بەڕای من هەم لە ڕۆشنبیر و هەم لە یاساش. مەلایەك دەتوانێ دەزگایەكی وەك داواكاری گشتی بخاتە ژێر باڵی خۆیەوە، من ئەوانەم پێ مەترسیدارە، نەك ئەوەی من حوكم بدرێم یان نا. مەترسییەكە ئەوەیە مزگەوت چەندە چووەتە نێو دەزگەكانی حكوومەتی هەرێم و بووە بە بەشێك لە كایەی ڕۆشنبیریش، ئەوە بەلامەوە گرینگە.

پرسیار: ڕێكخراوەكانی كۆمەڵگەی مەدەنی دینەمۆی گۆڕانگارین لە وڵاتان، ئێوە ڕاتان بەرامبەر داوودوزگە و ڕێكخراوەكانی كۆمەڵگەی مەدەنی لە كوردستان چییە و تا چەند توانیویانە ئەركەكانی خۆیان ڕاپەڕێنن؟

وەڵام: من لێرەدا لەبەر ئەوەی كێشەكەم كێشەیەكی ئەدەبییە، باسی ڕێكخراوی یەكێتی دادوەران و مافپەروەران ناكەم، تەنیا باسی یەكێتی نووسەران دەكەم كە من تێیدا ئەندامم. من خۆم داوام لە سەرۆكی یەكێتی نووسەرانی كوردستان كرد یان بەیاننامەیەك دەر بكەن یان هەوڵ بدەن ئیمزا كۆبكرێتەوە بۆ ئەوەی پاڵپەستۆیەك دروست ببێت لەبەرامبەر ئەو جۆرە بیركردنەوە و عەقلیەتەی هەندێ لەو مەلایانە بەڵام هیچ ئامادەیی و هەڵوێستێكی تێدا نەبوو. كۆمەڵێك ڕۆشنبیر كە زۆربەیان برادەری خۆم بوون هەندێ گوتاریان نووسی، بۆ نموونە شێركۆ بێكەس و محەمەد موكری و هەندێ نوسەری و ڕۆشنبیری تر، بەڵام وەكو ڕێكخراوەی یەكێتی نووسەران هیچ نەبوو. ئەمەش مەترسییەكی ترە كە ئەویش دیسان مەسەلەی ترسانە لە دین، مەسەلەی دین ئەوەندە ترسناكە لای خەڵك. زۆر بەداخەوە دەڵێم، لە كاتێكدا دڵنیام زۆر كەس لە یەكێتی نووسەران و ناو دەسەڵات و سەرۆكایەتیی پەرلەمان و سەرۆكایەتیی حكوومەت و تەنانەت سەرۆكایەتیی هەرێمیش لەگەڵ من هاوسۆزن و لەگەڵ بیری من دەگونجێن، بەڵام لەبەر ترسیان لە دین كە پێیان وایە بڤەیە، قسە ناكەن. پێیان باشە من ببمە قوربانی باشترە لەوەی دەسەڵات بكەوێتە ژێر پرسیاری مەلایەك.

پرسیار: پێت وایە كێشەكە لە سەرێكەوە پێوەندیی بەوەوە هەبێ كە دەستوور و یاسا لە وڵاتی ئێمە لەسەر شەریعەتی ئیسلامی دانراوە؟

وەڵام: یەكێك لە سەرچاوە سەرەكییەكانی یاسا و دستوور لە وڵاتانی ئیسلامی بە كوردستانیشەوە شەریعەتی ئیسلامە. لەبەرئەوەی شەریعەتی ئیسلام بە پانتاییەكی زۆر هاتووەتە ناو یاسا و دەستوورەوە بۆیە هەردەم پەنابردنە بەر دادگەی مەلایەك لەوەوەیە كە دەزانێ بنەمایەكی شەریعەتی تێدایە و بووە بە مادەیەكی یاسایی و دەتوانێ تۆی پێ كەلەپچە بكات، ئەمەش یەكێكە لە مەترسییەكان. بە داخەوە ئێمە خۆمان بە وڵاتێك یان حكوومەتێكی عەلمانی دەزانین بەڵام شەریعەت بە پانتاییەكی زۆر هاتوووەتە ناو یاسا و داوودەزگەی دەوڵەت بە تایبەت یاسای باری كەسێتی هەر بۆیەشە كە ئێستە ژن ئەوەندە "ملكەچ و بێزراوە".

پرسیار: كەواتە پێویسستیمان بە تەڤگەرێك هەیە؟

وەڵام: پێویستیمان بە گۆڕانێكی ڕیشەیی هەیە. كێ بیكات؟ ئەمە كاری داوودەزگەی دەوڵەت و ڕێكخراوە مەدەنییەكانە. ئەگەر جورئەتمان هەبێ هەندێ لەو یاسایانە كە ژەنگیان هەڵێناوە بگۆڕین پێم وایە بەر لە هەموو شتێك ئافرەت ئازاد دەبێت، منیش وەكو پیاوێك كە دەمەوێ قەسیدەیەك بنووسم و سانسۆرم لەسەر نەبێ، ئازاد دەبم.

پرسیار: گۆڕانێكی لە چەشنی جیاكردنەوەی دەسەڵاتی كلێساكان لە كۆمەڵگەی ئەوروپایی؟

وەڵام: لە ئەوروپا كە كلێسا دەوری نەما و وەكو باوك نەما كۆمەڵگە گۆڕانكاریی زۆر گەورەی بەخۆوە بینی، ئێمەش ئەگەر مزگەوت باوك نەبێت، كە من ئەوەی ئێرە دەتوانم دەستەواژەیەكی نوێی بۆ دروست داتاشم و پێی بڵێم "مزگەوتسالاری"، ئەوا لێرەش گۆڕانكاری ڕوو دەدات. من گوناهم چییە كە شاعیرێكم دەمەوێ خەیاڵی خۆم و بیری خۆم داڕێژم و بیخەمە سەر كاغەز و بڵاوی بكەمەوە. ئەمە بیری منە، بەڵام هەردەم شمشێرێك لەپشت سەرمە.

پرسیار: دوا پرسیارمان، ئایا بەردەوام دەبیت؟

وەڵام: لای من "وشە" نیشتمانە. چۆن پێشمەرگەیەك لەسەنگەرە و داكۆكی لە نیشتمانەكەی خۆی دەكات تا شەهید دەبێت، منیش هەرگیز واز لە نیشتمانەكەی خۆم ناهێنم كە "وشە"یە.

قوبادی جەلیزادە، نووسەر و شاعیر، زیاتر لە سی ساڵ لە بواری دادوەریدا كاری كردووە و زیاتر لە 15 ساڵیش لەو ماوەیەدا وەكو دادوەر كاری كردووە. لە ساڵی 2010 كۆمەڵە شیعرێكی بەناوی "ستیانی بەفر پڕە لە ڕیشۆڵە"ی دایە دەزگای ئاراس بۆ ئەوەی بۆی چاپ و بڵاو بكاتەوە. كتێبەكە بەر لەوەی بكەوێتەوە بازاڕەوە، دەكەوێتە بەر دەستی مامۆستایەكی ئاینی لە هەولێر و لە نوێژی هەینیدا كتێبەكەی بەدەستەوە دەبێت و قسەی لەسەر دەكات بە "سووكایەتیكردن بە خوا" وەسپی دەكات. دواتر بەرپرسی دەزگای ئاراس ڕای گەیاند ئەو كتێبە دزراوە لەبەرئەوەی هێشتا لە كۆگادا بووە. دوابەدوای ئەوەش ئەو كێشەیە هەرایەی زۆر لێ كەوتەوە لەنێو ڕاگەیاندنی كوردیدا لەنێوان ڕۆشنبیران و مامۆستایان ئاینی و دواجار سەرۆكی هەرێمیش هاتە سەر خەت و لە كۆنفرانسێكدا هەموو لایەكی كۆكردەوە بۆ ئەوەی لێك تێبگەن و كۆتایی بەو كێشەیە بێنن.

دیمانەی ڕابەر یونس عزیز، هەوار ئیسماعیل

12/05/2011 16:47


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Erbil newspaper office attacked | Misc |

Erbil newspaper office attacked

Governing parties deny assassination claims, as threats to sue fly

Erbil, May 4 (AKnews) – Claims by a newspaper that the governing Kurdish parties plotted to kill the leaders of the opposition have lead to both sides exchanging threats to file law suits against each other.
Ahmed Mira
On May 1, Livin press published an article claiming that the politburos of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) planned for assassinate the leading lights of the three opposition parties.

The opposition has been leading demonstrations against the government, which have been violently repressed, leaving ten dead.

The KDP, led by Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani, issued a statement describing the report as "an imaginary story, a deception, it is based on falsehood. It is just another plan to stir the situation and make political parties distrust each other."

The statement further accused the board of the Kurdish weekly paper of "taking part in agitation, deception and fabrication."

The KDP statement promised legal action against the newspaper.

In an interview with a Gali Kurdistan (a PUK run TV channel), Azad Jundyani, the spokesman for the PUK said his party will also sue the newspaper for what he describes as the "lies" they have told.

Commenting on Jundyani's statement, Editor of the newspaper, Ahmed Mira (pictured), told AKnews that the spokesman has "libeled the paper's staff, disregarding the ethics of journalism and the proper behavior for a politician."

He said the paper will bring a counter suit against Mr Jundyani.

Mr Mira openly supported the anti-government protests that hit Sulaimaniya, one of the three provinces of Kurdistan, in the past two months. The protesters have been calling for reform, the creation of more jobs and the provision of basic service.

Mr Mira said he is confident of legal victory, adding that this is not the first time the newspaper has been prosecuted and it has not lost a case yet.

The opposition in the Kurdistani Parliament has 35 deputies in the 111 seat house. It comprises the Goran (Change) Movement, the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) and the Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG).

The authorities accuses the parties of destabilizing the region by provoking and supporting the protests.

The demonstrations appear to have come to an end as a result of heavy military deployment.

By Wushyar Ahmed and Idris Abubakir.

04/05/2011 14:22


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Barzani killings recognized as genocide - six sentenced- one to death

Erbil, May 3 (AKnews) - The mass killing of Kurds from the Barzani tribe by Saddam Hussein's government in the 1980s was genocide, Iraq's Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
Mustafa Barzani
Six former Ba'ath party officials have been sentenced for their involvement, with one receiving the death penalty.

The ruling comes at the conclusion of an investigation that involved 39 sessions and lasted for nearly two years.

In 1983, 8000 men from the Barzani tribe were killed when Mustafa Barzani (pictured), leader of the tribe and father of current Kurdistani president Massoud Barzani, led the Kurdish rebellion against the state.

Six of the former Ba'ath regime's officials have been found guilty. Tariq Aziz, former Iraqi deputy Prime Minister, who is already in prison awaiting execution for the persecution of political opponents, received life in prison for his involvement, said Ayad Kakayi, a prosecutor in the case.

Sadoun Shaker, a former Ba'ath official, was condemned to death, in addition to receiving three prison terms of 15, 7 and 10 years for crimes against humanity, torture and imprisonment.

Two other former officials were sentenced to life in prison. They are Hikmat Wathban and Safyan Mahar. Hamid Yousef, received 10 years in prison. The sixth defendant, Saddam Hussein's half brother Wathban Ibrahim, was acquitted of the charges.

Kurds had been pushing to have the murders recognized as genocide since the fall of the Ba'ath regime in 2003.

Human Rights Watch, in its book Iraq's Crime of Genocide, said: "Throughout Iraqi Kurdistan, although women and children vanished in certain clearly defined areas, adult males who were captured disappeared en masse. It is apparent that a principal purpose of Anfal was to exterminate all adult males of military service age captured in rural Iraqi Kurdistan"

The Supreme Court, which was set up after the 2003 US led war against Iraq to try former members of Saddam Hussein's government, has already recognized other mass killings of Kurds by the former regime as genocide. This includes the chemical attack on the Kurdish city of Halabja in 1988 which killed 5,000 and left some 10,000 inured, as part of a military campaign known as Anfal.

The genocidal campaigns conducted in Kurdistan by Saddam's regime is estimated to have killed some 100,000 civilians.

By Raber Y. Aziz, contributions from Fryad Mohammed.
Edited by Patrick Smith

03/05/2011 17:22

World Press Freedom Day 'not day of celebration' for Kurdish journalists

World Press Freedom Day 'not day ofcelebration' for Kurdish journalists

Erbil, May 3 (AKnews) – Violence against journalists in Kurdastani Iraq is on the rise, said the Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate (KJS) today, World Press Freedom Day.
Video imaging, journalist
The KJS marked the day with a one minute silence to protest the "ongoing" attacks against journalists in the region.

The rise in violence against journalists is linked to nearly two months of protests in Kurdistan Region where thousands of demonstrators took to the streets calling for reforms.

Secretary of the KJS board, Hamid Mohammed, said: "We are marking this day not only to stand behind the organizations of the world fighting for press freedom, but also because the violence against journalists in Kurdistan Region is ongoing.

"This is not a day of celebration for us because violence, arrests and the beating of journalists by the security forces continue. But we still call on journalists to abide by the ethics of their profession and we ask the relevant authorities to treat journalists in accordance with the law of Kurdistan"

Azad Hamadamin, head of KJS Erbil office said that in one recent incident, on 1 May, security forces had beaten up journalists and confiscated their equipment. The reporters were trying to cover a demonstration in front of the Iranian consulate against the execution of a Kurdish activist by the Islamic republic.

Under the recently passed demonstration law, all protests and rallies must obtain prior permission from the authorities. This law has been used to attack journalists covering the events who are classed as demonstrators by security forces.

Mr Hamadamin said: "Whether a demonstration is licensed or not is not the fault of journalists. The reporter covers whatever event takes place."

Earlier today, Iraq's Journalism Freedom Observatory said violence against journalists had shot up by 55% in Iraq.

"This indicates the almost complete absence of press freedom in all cities across the country, including Kurdistan," Ziad al-Ujaili, the Executive Director of the organization told AKnews.

Rahman Gharib, the representative of the observatory in the Kurdistan Region said: "372 attacks have targeted journalists and media professionals since 3 May last year, and most of them took place in Kurdistan. The number has increased with the growing popular demonstrations in the region and the accompanying media coverage.

"The security authorities also closed nine media institutions, and one of them is still closed now. In addition to that 11 institutions were raided."

According to the Iraqi Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, 247 journalists and media workers have lost their lives in their line of duty since the 2003 US-led allied invasion of Iraq.

By Raber Y. Aziz, contributions from Fryad Mohammed and Bashar al-Mandalawi. Edited by Patrick Smith.

03/05/2011 16:37

Attacks on journalists up 55% in Iraq

Baghdad, May 3 (AKnews) - Violent attacks against journalists in Iraq shot up by 55 per cent this year, statistics from the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory in Baghdad revealed on yesterday.
Iraqi journalist
On the eve of World Press Freedom Day, Ziad al-Ujaili, the Executive Director of the organization told AKnews that violence has reached its highest level recorded, with 12 Iraqi journalists killed since 3 May 2010.

"This indicates the almost complete absence of press freedom in all cities across the country, including the Kurdistan region," he said.

"The journalists and their media institutions were subjected to fierce attacks led by special security forces in the Iraqi government, which illegally raided TV channels and media organizations to fight, what they claim as, threats by the independent media.

According to the 2011 annual report of the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, seen by AKnews, "the escalation of organized violence against journalists by the security agencies and government authorities made journalists fear imprisonment or intentional harm just for carry out their jobs. Normal operations now look impossible in the face of military and security orders that prevent journalists from taking photos or moving around without the prior approval of the authorities.

"The government has succeeded in the suppression of news on several occasions, most notably the coverage for the public protests against the lack of services in several Iraqi cities."

Rahman Gharib, the representative of the observatory in the Kurdistan Region said: "372 attacks have targeted journalists and media professionals since 3 May last year, and most of them took place in Kurdistan. The number has increased with the growing popular demonstrations in the region and the accompanying media coverage.

"The security authorities also closed nine media institutions, and one of them is still closed now. In addition to that 11 institutions were raided."

The lawyer and media expert Hassan Shaaban told AKnews: "Any restrictions on press freedom will be a violation for the most important principles of human rights, those of freedom of expression and press freedom. Moral objections and national security must not be used as pretexts to justify the suppression of these freedoms.

"The media agencies must be completely independent of all types of government censorship. After the fall of the former regime in 2003, Iraqi society changed completely and the permanent Iraqi constitution was ratified in 2005. These freedoms and rights were listed within Part II, specifically with regard to the media and the press in Article 38.

According to the Iraqi Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, 247 journalists and media workers have lost their lives in their line of duty since the 2003 US-led allied invasion of Iraq.

By Bashar al-Mandalawi

03/05/2011 10:52

Iraqi politicians react to bin Laden's death

Shwan Mohammed Taha, a Kurdish member of the security committee in the Iraqi Parliament.

"Bin Laden's death doesn't mean the end of al-Qaeda, because the organization has a broad base all over the world and has a great financial ability, with many supporters from different nations and they will be seeking reprisal.
"The Iraqi people want the security situation to make progress; the ideology of terror has to be rooted out thought fighting corruption and unemployment. To grow, terror always takes refuge in an environment where corruption and unemployment exist."

Adnan al-Shahmani, a Shia MP in the National Coalition block.

"The death of the al-Qaeda leader will have positive impacts on the world in general, and the stability of Iraq in particular. The organization has international influence and many cells receive orders from him"
"His death is the end of extremism in the world that has been epitomized by the organization's terrorist acts throughout the world"

Habib al-Tarafi, a Shia MP from the National Coalition block.
"The US announcement of bin Laden's death is the end of an act of a play. The US will find another play in which it will show Islam as standing behind terrorist and extremist acts"

"Muslim audiences who are aware of the way the US think have know full well that the US will create a new fiction where Muslims play the terrorist and extremist antagonist"

Sharif Sulaiman, a Kurdish MP in the Iraqi parliament.

"Al-Qaeda was besieged when their Iraq leader Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi was killed, and they will be further besieged with the death of their world leader bin Laden. But the attacks carried out by the organization will not stop unless all of its cells operating in Iraq, and the external bodies offering them help, are destroyed"

"Bin Laden's death will have positive impact on relations between Muslims and other religions, because the man who distorted the image of Islam in the minds of the followers of other religions has been killed"

Ahmed abu Risha, head of the Awakening Councils in Iraq, a Sunni armed group that supports the government in fighting al-Qaeda and other insurgent groups.

"I wish he was killed at the hands of the Iraqis, whose country al-Qaeda has destroyed"
"His death is a victory to everyone hurt by al-Qaeda. They killed innocents under the cover of Islam and religion to win the hearts of young people under the pretext of Jihad"

By Raber Y. Aziz, Contributions from Hadi al-Isami, Dilshad Zangana.

03/05/2011 13:49

Monday, May 2, 2011

Baghdad Arab Summit schedule to be decided

Sulaimaniyah, May 2 (AKnews) – Foreign ministers from Arab states are expected to meet next week to decide on a new schedule for the postponed Arab Summit in Baghdad as the Arab world is rocked by a wave of protests.
The last Arab Summit
As a result of the 'Arab spring' revolts some Arab states requested that the Summit - first scheduled for March 29 - be postponed until, at the latest, 15 May.

Another contributing factor to its delay was the pressure applied the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council that was angered when Iraq – which is a majority Shia country - roundly criticized the repression of protests in Bahrain by the minority Sunni rule.

This position was also criticized by Sunni Iraqi members of parliament.

A member of the parliament's Foreign Relations Committee, Rawaz Mahdi said: "Due to the current situation, it is unlikely that the Arab Summit in Baghdad will be held on time, therefore, Arab foreign ministers are expected to meet next week in Egypt to tackle the issue"

However, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told al-Hurrah TV last month that the summit will be held on 10 May.

The summit in Baghdad is viewed by some politicians as important to Iraq's reintegration into the Arab world after the US-led invasion that toppled Dictator Saddam Hussein. A successful summit is likely to help Iraq reassure its mainly Sunni neighbors - who view the rise of Shia majority with suspicion – that cooperation is possible.

Rawaz Mahdi, who is an MP in the Kurdish Block Coalition, said the absence of a number of Arab leaders due to internal unrest in their respective countries like Yemen, Syria and Libya, will be a blow to the summit and to Iraq.

The Iraqi government has announced it has made all the necessary preparations for the summit to be hosted in Baghdad and has allocated some US$50 million for the purpose. The US Embassy in Iraq has also expressed its support for the holding of the summit in Baghdad.

In the case that Arab leaders decide not to hold the meeting in Baghdad, Egypt and Qatar have been put forward as possible alternatives.

Iraq has hosted the Arab Summit twice before - in 1987 and 1992.

By Raber Y. Aziz, with contributions from Idris Abubakr . Edited by Patrick Smith (AKnews)

02/05/2011 13:30

Jubilation and fear: Iraq responds to bin Laden death

Baghdad, May 2 (AKnews) – Amid scenes of jubilation at the death of Osama bin Laden, Iraq has tightened security measures as fears of reprisal attacks grow.
Osama bin Laden
US President, Barak Obama, announced today that the al Qaeda leader was killed in Pakistan by US forces.

Iraqi Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki's, office said "strict security measures have been taken in preparation for reactions" by al-Qaeda insurgents in Iraq, saying that they could not rule out a wave of attacks.

However, assurances were offered: "Al Qaeda is not able to carry out attacks in Iraq in the way it used to due to suffering from a financial crisis and failure to recruit militants. Bin Laden's death will in the long run have positive effects on Iraqi stability."

"However, his death does not mean the end of al-Qaeda, though it will be greatly weakened"

Mohammed Najem, an academic from Baghdad, said he feared that al Qaeda militants with "no principals or goals except destruction and killing" might strike back on Iraqi soil.

Al-Qaeda has been actively operating in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, killing hundreds of Iraqi civilians, police and soldiers.

However, some Iraqis have been celebrating his death by handing out sweets to friends and family and expressing their joy.

"Bin Laden killed, the murderer of Iraqis and mankind has been killed. Today is a feast day, today is happiness" shouted one Iraqi citizen, Haitham Samie, while running through the streets of Baghdad distributing sweets.

"I lost a brother and one of my friends, both were killed by al-Qaeda militants; they had not done anything any wrong. This organization has killed and left hundreds homeless, why should I not run about in joy?" he said.

Ali Mohammed al Bakri, a lawyer said: "Bin Laden's death is the victory of mankind as a whole."

Bin Laden was accused of masterminding a number of attacks on civilians around the world. The most notable of which were the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York in 2001 where 3,000 people were killed. He topped the US "most wanted" list.

President Obama , speaking at the White House, said: "We must also reaffirm that United states is not and will never be at war against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader, in fact, he slaughtered many Muslims."

A US official warned its citizens traveling abroad to be wary of "enhanced potential for anti-American violence".

Bin Laden had managed to evade the coalition of western forces for almost a decade, despite a US$25 million bounty on his head. It is not known why he moved down from the mountains on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, where he was suspected of hiding, to Abbottabad a city only 100km north of Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

By Raber Y. Aziz, contributions by Haidar Ibrahim and Bradost Lawin. Edited by Patrick Smith. (AKnews)

02/05/2011 14:10


Osama bin Laden killed in Pakistan

Erbil, May 2 (AKnews) - Osama bin Laden, leader of al-Qaeda, is dead, US President Barack Obama has claimed.Osama bin Laden

The worlds most wanted man looks to have been killed in a US ground operation in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad near the capital Islamabad. His body is said to be in the hands of the military.

The news was announced by President Barack Obama from the White House where he described Bin Laden's killing as "The most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al-Qaeda" and said he personally authorized the attack.

Osama Bin Laden was accused of masterminding a number of attacks on civilians around the world. The most notable of which were the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York in 2001 where 3,000 people were killed.

President Obama said: "We must also reaffirm that United states is not and will never be at war against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader, in fact, he slaughtered many Muslims."

A senior Obama administration official told Reuters they believe that three other men were killed in the attack including bin Laden's adult son. A woman is also said to have been killed.

The official said that bin Laden's death will be a major blow to al-Qaeda. But, there are also fears of reprisals, and the US is warning its citizens traveling in the area to be wary of "enhanced potential for anti-American violence".

On the news of his death, jubilant crowds gathered outside the White House, chanting, "USA, USA".

Former US president George W. Bush welcomed the news saying: ""The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done."

Bin Laden had managed to evade the coalition of western forces for almost a decade, despite a US$25 million bounty on his head. It is not known why he moved down from the mountains on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, where he was suspected of hiding, to Abbottabad a city only 100km north of Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

President Obama said he had been  given intelligence about bin Laden's whereabouts last August.

"It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground," he said.

"I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan.

"And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice."

A senior US official said that one helicopter was downed in the operation but no American lives were lost.

Raber Y. Aziz and Patrick Smith (AKnews)

02/05/2011 10:19

Opposition forces to take legal action against government for budget cut

Demonstrations SulaymaniyahErbil, May 1 (AKnews) – Opposition forces say they plan to go to court over the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) decision to cut the parties' budgets after they supported protests that hit the Region's second largest city, Sulaimaniya.

Last week, two Islamic opposition parties, Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG) and Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), said their budget had been cut, and a week previously, another opposition group, Gorran, also said their budget had been reduced.

Political parties in Kurdistan receive funding from the government to carry out their activities.

The budget cuts came after the opposition groups put the full force of their support behind anti-government protests that raged for 65 days from 17 February and left 10 protesters dead and hundreds injured.

The demonstrators, inspired by events in Egypt and Tunisia, were pushing for an end to corruption, nepotism and the monopoly of power by the two ruling parties Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). The protests evolved and later called for a complete dissolution of the government in the region.

A representative for Gorran, Yousef Mohammed, said he was stunned by the budget cut decision: "If the government refuses to reconsider its decision, then we will take legal action to restore our budget.
"The PUK and KDP each continue to receive IQD6 billion (about US$5.1 million) every month, we believe that our budget cut is a political decision by the KDP and PUK, playing their hand to apply pressure."

Mr Mohamed went on to accuse the ruling parties of operating their media outlets from the general budget.

Gorran with 25 seats in the 111-seat Kurdish parliament received, before the funding cut, IQD580m ($500,000), while the PUK, led by the Iraqi president Jalal Talabani, with 29 seats, and the KDP, led by regional President Massoud Barzani, each receive the radically greater sum of IQD6 bn ($5.1 m).

The government has also cut KIU's IQD450 million (around US$370,000) budget. The party has six seats in the Kurdish parliament

Member of the KIU politburo Abubakr Ali, said: "I think this budget cut has nothing to do with the law, but with the KRG which is formed by the KDP and PUK.

"Cutting our budget is like punishing us for being an opposition force in the Kurdish region. It is only pressure. It is our right to seek restoration of the budget by any means"

In place of a proper parties budget law the Kurdish Parliament passed the 2010 budget under which a temporary sum of IQD90 billion (US$75 million) was allocated to political parties and organizations.

The parties' budget law has yet to be discussed by parliament.

Under the current system budgets are arbitrarily allocated and do not relate to the number of seats or votes. Some small groups like the Kurdistan Communist Party, which has one seat in parliament, receive the same allocation as Gorran with 25 seats.

KDP member of parliament, Rozhan Dizayee, told AKnews that the Region's 2011 budget provides for allocating some IQD200 billion (about US$ 167 million) to political parties. But the parliament has not been able to discuss the political parties' budget law as the opposition forces have been boycotting the ordinary parliamentary sessions, said Dizayee.

Due to the government's violent repression of demonstrations, opposition forces have refused to attend ordinary meetings saying the parliament should only hold emergency meetings to discuss the demands of the protesters.

The demonstrators were demanding that the government be completely dissolved and a transitional government set up to prepare early elections in six months.
But a real factor contributing to the postponement of the parties' budget law has been the dispute over how to allocate budget.

Some parties want funds to be provided according to the votes a party gets in parliamentary elections, others want the number of seats be considered, while some smaller groups say armed struggle for the freedom of Kurdistan before 1991, when the region gained semi-autonomy, be a factor for budget allocation.

Sherwan Haidari, head of the legal committee in the parliament, said: "If the number of seats criterion is adopted, then parties who have few seats will be affected, while considering the number of votes in elections those parties who did not get considerable votes and are outside parliament will be affected."

The conflict around this issue shows no signs of being resolved in the near future.

Writing by Raber Y. Aziz, Hevidar Ahmed contributed to this story. Edited Patrick Smith.

01/05/2011 13:19