A Letter Shakes the Nation


 08 Feb 2014 – By Kamal Chomani: Kurdstan Tribune – : Masoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, delayed a planned visit to the United States in protest at the US listing the KDP and PUK as terrorists. But have not they perpetuated terrorism in the past?

In reality this was just an excuse to hide the failures of Kurdish diplomacy, since a US Department of Homeland Security memorandum states : “On September 21,2009, the Secretary of Homeland Security and ‘the Secretary of State, in consultation with each other and the Attorney General, exercised their authority not to apply the terrorist-related grounds of inadmissibility contained in INA 5 212(a)(3)(B) for certain activities and associations involving the Iraqi National Congress (INC), Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) or Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)”.

But let’s face the fact that the KDP and PUK have committed terrorist attacks during the Kurdish civil war. I was only ten years when these two political parties brought us into a horrible era: Fratricide. I cannot forget those corpses that were brought to the mosques every now and then. I had relatives from both sides, KDP and PUK, I would run to the mosque to see if the corpses were those of my relatives or not. I will never forget the moment when I saw a man who I considered to be my uncle. At that time I was happy that he was not, but now I think how stupid I was. Was not he a human, too?

But I was only ten years.

So far, the destiny of many who were disappeared/arrested during the fratricide is not clear. I recently read a banner which was held by a child which read: “Where is my father, I have not seen him.” The child was born after her father was arrested during the civil war.

Yesterday, 8th February, 2014, Soran Omer, a member of the Kurdistan Parliament, published the letter of a prisoner who had been imprisoned back in 2005-2006 in KDP jails. His letter has shocked the whole Kurdish society. Although it did not shock me a lot as I had already heard such stories, it was the first time a prisoner has dared to say that such cruelties were committed by the KDP’s security forces. Anyone who has heard of the KDP and PUK jails will not be shocked with such letters. I will translate two excerpts of the letter here:


“Each of us was handcuffed from right and left hands which they were calling ‘Israeli Handcuffing’*. Later, we were put in individual rooms for some days without having food and water. In all the times when we were being taken to the investigations, all sorts of tortures were tried on us. Beating by hosepipes and cables until we fainted, hanging by feet, beating with electric sticks, putting off our clothes and threatening to rape us, threatening to kill by pistol.”

*’Cross Handcuffing’: one hand is pulled back over the shoulder and the other hand pulled back below and both hands are cuffed from behind.

The prisoner’s letter


“Each of us was forced to fabricate lies against the others. At the end, they brought someone who was pale and dressed in torn clothes. They (Security men) took him and in front of the eyes of one of us, they raped his wife so as to to make him confess what they wanted. Later, they turned to one of us and threatened that, if he does not confess, the same thing will happen to him.”

This is inhuman, barbaric, horrible and disastrous. No one can tolerate this. This has not happened during the civil war in which KDP and PUK did everything that is against international laws, humanity and religious and moral values. This has happened only recently in 2005.

If it is not terrorism, what is terrorism then?

If the Kurdistan Regional Government and Presidency of Kurdistan do not bring justice to the perpetrators, the question of the KDP’s and PUK’s affiliation to terrorism will be unanswered.