Resonse to KDP’s Statement on the Murder of Young Journalist Sardasht Osman
Kurdishaspect.com - By Mufid Abdulla
Since the tragic murder of young journalist Sardasht Osman on the 4th May people in Kurdistan have been anxiously awaiting a response from the government apparatus. This statement from the KDP leadership was finally issued on 13th May in the form of a stony response clearly released only due to the demands of the mass of people. What is most surprising from this desperate statement by the KDP polite bureau is the uncivilized language used throughout and the painting of particularly gloomy pictures, with statements such as, “the progress and success of the KRG in the areas of economics, social policy, politics have made our enemies reluctant to admit these facts and developments that have occurred, whilst at the same time planning to destroy it and distort the reality of it”, the statement continues:
“Our rivals know very well, these progresses have been achieved by the KDP and the leadership of Masoud Barzani. Masoud Barzani is the engine of these growths and prosperity, which was the reason for our rivals to target him. There has been a campaign for sometime against our party and their leadership and we believe there are some internal and external forces behind them.”
The statement continues to say, “these plans and conspiracies have not stopped from the days of the successful election and have continued with the kidnapping and murder of Sardasht Osman, and we have to cut their hands before going any further”.
The statement goes on to relate these demonstrations and protests to the people who belong to the old days of civil war between the KDP and the PUK. The statement states “we will not allow this campaign to continue”.
The reaction to the above statement amongst intellectuals and journalists is one of utmost surprise. The Metro, known as the centre of defence for journalists, have expressed their anger and disbelief of this statement stating, “the KDP are still living in the past in the era of cold war and armed conflict, they prefer a military conflict rather than a civil struggle for solving modern issues such as tragedy like this”. The Metro have continued in their response; “the KDP have failed to accept the reality of the situation that the mass of people will continue to strike and take part in mass demonstrations and they are not prepared to stay silent until we get some response from this tragedy”.
The Metro continues “our demonstration is a peaceful one; even we have not thrown any stones to anybody” and then go further to say “we are not a legacy of civil war, we are ordinary people, we are not carrying any weapons, the only weapon we have is our pen and the laws of human rights”.
Levin, another main newspaper, stated on that KDP response, “it is a smile of blood, the KDP have threatened people so that they will not allow people to continue their peaceful campaign”.
The most respectful response from the KDP leadership would tell you who was behind this tragedy; at the minimum we would expect a response which shows some sorrow and patience for their people. However, in reality what we have are the most unreasonable comments and views on the case I have ever seen.
Referring to the start of the KDP’s statement, when the success of Kurdistan is talked about; the KDP have failed to define the measurement of this success and with 19 years of struggling, how can they judge or measure such a success? The success of Kurdish society should be about access to education for our future generations; fair distribution of income; employment for all; access to clean water and main basic services. But contrarily, the KDP have climbed a dark mountain and do not possess the leadership material. Only their relatives and own clans can stay wealthy and live sustainably. The mass of people are still forbidden from basic education and services in Kurdistan such us health provision, clean water etc. Social progress eliminates the power of tribal people and is replaced by the elite class. What we have seen in Kurdistan is reminiscent of the old model of China.
Furthermore, the responsibility of the security of Kurdistan is divided into green and yellow zones. The green zone is controlled by the PUK in the Sulaymaniah area and the yellow zone is controlled by the KDP, comprised of Hawler and Duhok. Therefore, people would expect a much better response from the KDP apparatus.
The second part of the statement relates to civil war. The KDP have failed to persuade people that they are innocent in this case; otherwise the main point would be the elaboration and explanation behind this tragedy and not the focus of referring back to almost thirty years ago. At least two of the parallels are now striking; the KDP leaders loved these days because they are still proud of rule militias and army conflicts. They have made me realise that the doubts I have had about their sincerity in this issue are genuine concerns and I am right to be so concerned. Isn’t their statement the final proof of self defeating contradiction at the heart of the KDP itself? The more you read the statement, the more you conclude that the KDP is facilitating the rules of militia, not liberalism, and that they are frightened of the challenge of people which is the reason they consider people as the enemy, rather than their brothers and sisters.
To conclude several qualifications from the above:
1. The people of Kurdistan still remain fearful of the KDP because of the bloody past they had in civil war and the fact they still have the militia group. As such it remains impossible in the south of Kurdistan to foster any kind of real democracy until the two main groups relinquish their militias and advocate the army of the mass of people.
2. The KRG should not risk allowing Hawler to become an ungoverned space exercising ground gangsters and criminal bands to kidnap and murder journalists. The KRG should control the situation and should commit itself to enhance the communication with people and not underestimate them.
3. The immediate challenge is for the KDP to tackle their leadership and grassroots and to seriously consider how they can modernise their party to meet the demands of today’s problems. The Barzani family should protect measures and seek to understand and address the underlying causes of this tragedy. It is not necessary to be particularly brilliant or interesting to belong to a tribal establishment. In the Barzani family, being male appears to be the main importance.
4. The KDP have failed to address and grasp the main issue of the kidnap and murder of the young journalist in Hawler. The KDP and their leadership should not run away from the responsibility and demands of people. Therefore we need immediate and drastic measures to find the killers of this tragedy.