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 Security measures in Iraqi Kurdistan's cities, on the anniversary of anti-KRG protests 

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Security measures in Iraqi Kurdistan's cities, on the anniversary of anti-KRG protests  17.2.2012 

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Huge Kurdish security forces at Sulaimaniyah's Tahrir Square "Azadi square" Friday February 17, 2012. Photo: Hawlati. From February 17, 2011, till middle April 2011, thousands of protesters gathered daily in Sulaimaniyah and other parts of Kurdistan against corruption and the lording over Iraq's Kurdistan region by two main parties KDP and PUK. Kurdish protestors demand the ouster of the local Kurdistan government KRG and president Massoud Barzani, calling for improving services and living conditions and fighting corruption. See Related Links
 


Huge Kurdish security forces at Sulaimaniyah's Tahrir Square "Azadi square" Friday February 17, 2012
February 17, 2012

SULAIMANIYAH, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — Security forces have dispersed in Sulaimaniyah and other smaller local administrative units in expectation of demonstrations on the first anniversary of the protests that demanded political reforms in Kurdistan.

Informed sources here told Aswat al-Iraq that the dispersion was in anticipation of violent actions that may erupt in the city.

The precautionary measures were taken following calls made on Facebook demanding the renewal of the demonstrations today, Friday, 17 February.

The calls demanded the arrest and trial of those responsible for killing 8 demonstrators and two cops.

Kurdish opposition, represented by Change Movement, the Islamic Federation and the Islamic Group,
www.ekurd.net announced that their followers have no intention of demonstrating because the situation in the Kurdish region and Iraq as a whole is "critical and does not need any demonstration".

Opposition parties supporters believe that the government did not fulfill its reform promises.

Security forces stressed that any demonstration should take the necessary approvals, otherwise it shall be banned.

A number of Kurdish cities and towns witnessed protest demonstrations on 17 February last year demanding combat of corruption and political and social reforms.

The demonstrations lasted for 62 days in Sulaimaniyah with the participation of thousands of youths, intellectuals and civil activists, that led to 10 killings and tens of casualties.

Since February 2011, till middle April 2011, thousands of protesters gathered daily in Sulaimaniyah and other parts of Kurdistan against corruption and the lording over Kurdistan region by two main parties KDP and PUK. Kurdish protestors demand the ouster of the local Kurdistan government KRG, calling for improving services and living conditions and fighting corruption. 

After 62 days of protests, the Governorate of of Sulaimaniyah has banned unlicensed demonstrations in the city. Heavy Kurdish forces deployed in Sulaimaniyah city to prevent any demonstrations, and occupied the city center and other parts of Sulaimaniyah. The Security Committee in Sulaimaniyah banned on April 18 all sorts of protests.

Most of the demonstrators opposed Massoud Barzani, and the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party KDP. Ten people were killed and more than 700 others wounded and 220 more have been arrested in clashes between demonstrators and Kurdish security forces during a wave or protests that swept Sulaimaniyah. The Kurdish security forces (Asayish) arrested and tortured a lot of activists and journalists.

The protesters demand the Kurdish government and parliament resign to give way for “early transparent elections”. They complain about “monopolizing the economic and political authority,” by the two major parties of Kurdistan. Many observe allegiance to either of the two ruling patties a must to get employed and hence were deprived of the right. Kurdistan suffers from electric power deficiency but after almost 20 years of semi autonomy.

For decades, the KDP of regional president Massoud Barzani and the PUK of Iraq's President Jalal Talabani have lorded over the region.

Massoud Barzani and his relatives control a large number of commercial enterprises in Kurdistan-Iraq, with a gross value of several billion US dollars. The family is routinely accused of corruption and nepotism by Kurdish media as well as international observers.

Iraq's Kurdish regional government has near total autonomy and is funded by a share of the country's oil revenue. The two parties that share power each command former guerrilla militias that have been given the status of regional security forces.

Copyright ©, respective author or news agency, aswataliraq.info | ekurd.net | Agencies
 


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