Opponent of Barzani assaulted by KDP security forces in Erbil

KT News and Comment: 20.7.2013 – Independent presidential candidate Kamal Said Kadir was assaulted in Erbil yesterday by security forces attached to the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). This happened when he tried to hold a public rally in protest against the two-year extension to Masud Barzani’s presidential term.

Kamal, who went to hospital following the attack, has been a teacher at the University of Erbil Law School and he was arrested in 2005 by the KDP for criticising the Barzani family and only released following international pressure.

Kamal Said Kadir was planning to stand in the presidential elections that were due to take place this year but have now been postponed, enabling Barzani to stay on in power.

The NRT TV photo shows police officials standing around and doing nothing to help Kamal. The incident is reminiscent of Mussolini’s Italy, where fascist thugs would go around beating up opponents, humiliating them, forcing them to drink castor oil and so on.  This is not the first time, of course, that opponents of the Barzani family have been attacked, and even murdered, in Erbil when they have tried to exercise their right to free speech.

This assault is a small sign of the brutality of the Erbil authorities and no doubt it is meant to intimidate other opponents of the Barzanis.