Talabani brings Arab troops to Kurdistan as his party clamp down hard on protests

Kurdishaspect.com - By Shwan Zulal

The violations are continuing and the oppressive nature of the security clamp down has been stepped up by the main two militia groups of PUK(Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) and KDP(Kurdistan Democratic Party). The centre of Slemani (Sulaimaniyah) city is completely over run by militiamen loyal to PUK and Arab forces which has been drafted from Baghdad. Washington post has published an article yesterday talking about Jalal Talabani (PUK leader and Iraqi President) asking Iraqi prime minister for 3000  troops to help control the protest in Slemani.  other eyewitness accounts in slemani have also spoke about hearing security forces speak Arabic and Peshmerga minister reportedly been saying that the force speak Arabic so that protesters does not understand what they say.  This marks another shameful episode in the history of betrayal by the Kurdish leadership which I would not mention because the list is rather long. 

If this attempt by Talabani to bring Arab troops to suppress Kurdish demonstrators is true, it marks a very sad episode in the Kurdish history. Only two month not even his foes would have believed that Talabani and PUK would go so low. The only reason for such act is desperation as he and is party know most of the Kurdish troops would not support this level of brutality and sooner or later they would refuse to take orders. This latest move by Talabani has put the nail in PUK’s coffin as it was already a very sick party.

The situation is very tense and many hard-line protesters promise retaliation by circulating videos and speeches are on the net and facebook. The activist from Maidani Azadi (Sera Square) are prevented to go anywhere near the square now. Reports from local media saying that at their names have been given to the security forces in order to arrest them.  Instead, the activist are using Facebook to communicate and make video clips to convey their massage.

Clamp down by the authorities are comprehensive and it has affected everyone and everything in Kurdistan.  people are very angry about the level of violence and heavy handed approach adopted by the authorities. Today the most celebrated Kurdish poet, Sherko Bekas has told the press that his even to his read new poems has been cancelled because the security forces have revoked his request for a planed event in Slemani. The day has come in Kurdistan when a poet cannot read his poems without agreement from the security apparatus.

KNN Television channel for opposition Gorran have been having difficulties to transmit for the second day running. The group said that the problems are due to sabotage by the authorities but so far the authorities have denied it. The Islamic opposition party, Yakgrtu radio station has come under fire on Thursday night, as masked men drove by and shot at the building while yesterday their leaders car was burnt outside the governorate building in Slemani. Many kidnappings and harassment have also been reported by the local media. Hawalti reported, today Human Right activist and lawyer, Baxtyar Hama Sai’d’s house was raided by the security forces in order to arrest him, but the lawyer was not at home when the raid took place.

The current trend in  Kurdistan does not look good and many are predicting a violent backlash against the authorities. The opposition parties are very wary and afraid to make any wrong moves. They are trying to be as calm as possible, because a wrong move from them could mean a disaster.

The incumbent parties have proved that they are not responsible but  so far the oppositions have been acting very responsibly despite all the violations against them. Nevertheless, due to the enormous pressure on the opposition and attempts to entrap them by the authority, it is not clear what could their activists reaction would be. Many of them are fuming and  want to retaliate against the oppressive practises by the government, but so far have been kept at bay by their organizations.

Kurdish government neither have the manpower nor the means to become a full blooded dictatorship. Other dictatorships in  the region are all crumbling while a promise of democracy is sweeping middle-east. And yet the Kurdish leaders whom once fought a dictatorship are rapidly becoming like the people they once despised.

The current Kurdish leadership have crossed a redline by imposing draconian rules on Kurdish citizens and suppressing their own people. A government which is responsible for; Kidnapping, torture, militarising the cities, bringing Arab troops into Kurdistan,  shooting and beating peaceful protester, silencing dissenting voices…, can no longer have any legitimacy to rule the free people f Kurdistan. They must remember the past and how Saddam henchmen went down, if they carry on copying Baath regime tactics, the same future could await them too.

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April 23, 2011
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