US: Local Kurdish refugee from Iraqi
Kurdistan speaks out about unrest
By Angelina Perez
February 22, 2011
AMARILLO, TX, — Political uprisings
are taking over parts of the Middle East, and one
Kurdistan refugee from Amarillo is speaking out
about the changes needed in his home country.
Doctor Twana Othman came to the U.S. about a year
ago but says his family and friends are still in
He says the demonstrations started because the
people of Kurdistan want to gain the basic human
rights they lack.
Two people were killed when soldiers opened fire
during a protest to end food and power shortages in
Just days later, demonstrators demanded an apology
for the deaths, including the killing of a
15-year-old boy, Rezwan Ali.
Othman says the death of
this boy, only adds fuel to the fire.
"Everybody's angry about it, why you kill that kid,
he's just 15-years-old," said Othman.
Along with protestors, media outlets are also being
It was reported Saturday morning, fifty armed men
went to the headquarters of Northern Iraq's first
independent television station, NRT, fired shots,
then set the building on fire.
Othman says it has not been confirmed but he
believes the government played a part in the attack.
"They say we don't know who did that, but it's
really obvious, you cannot have 50 armed people go
there and burn that TV station, and before that the
manager of the TV station got so many phone calls,www.ekurd.netthreatening them to stop what they are doing," added
Even with the attacks made against the media and
protesters, Othman says why he continues to speak
out... "I'm doing it for my country, for my people,
for my poor people. "
Othman says with the pressure added on local media,
people are following the Egyptians lead and using
"People saw what is going on in Tunisia, what's
happened in Egypt and people communicate through
Facebook asking, why we don't do it in Kurdistan
because we have the same problem, like what the
Egyptian people have," said Othman.
Othman hopes changes will be made in Kurdistan so he
can visit his home and see his people living more
"I want to go back home, I mean everybody that came
here, they want to go back home and live between the
family and between friends, but you see that kind of
act from the government which is really nasty and
kill people that are asking for basic service and
basic human rights," added Othman.
Othman says the Kurdish government makes it look
like they are running a democracy but he says it is
not democratic to kill protestors on the street.
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