Protest the suffering of Iraqi Christians: No to terrorism No to state terrorism.Hands off our minorities. Hands off our people. Shame on the human rights violators on all sides. Assemble 11:30 on 28/7/14 near Parliament Square, near Westminister tube station London. For more past events click here
We women of Tadhamun condemn the persisting practice of arbitrary arrests by the Iraqi security forces. We condemn their arrests of women in lieu of their men folk. These are 'inherited' practices. We are alarmed by credible media reports of the Green Zone government’s intentions of executing hundreds of Iraqi men and women.
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Posted By Mohammed A. Salih Monday, June 14, 2010 - 10:14 AM
An unprecedented wave of mass protests over declining freedom of speech has engulfed Iraqi Kurdistan over the last few weeks. The protests were sparked by the recent, mysterious death of the young Kurdish journalist Sardasht Osman, a 23-year-old student who had written in local publications and a Europe-based Kurdish website that are critical of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and both of its two parties -- the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). Osman -- whose tortured body was found in Mosul -- had written fiercely critical essays about the region's ruling parties and their leaders. Although his death is the only such incident in the past several years for journalists in the Kurdistan region, many journalists now fear for their lives.
The trend toward infringements on the freedom of the press has been alarming. The Kurdistan Syndicate of Journalists documented more than 300 violations -- i.e., physical attacks, lawsuits, and threats -- against journalists in Kurdistan last year. Kurdish security forces and officials have been behind numerous assaults and lawsuits. The worrying trend flies in the face of habitual claims by Kurdish leaders who promote Kurdistan as a beacon of democracy in the Middle East and an oasis of safety in an otherwise violence-stricken Iraq.
For many in Kurdistan and abroad, Osman's death is not the only problem, but a symbol of the decreasing tolerance in Kurdistan for speech and press freedoms. Despite numerous attacks on journalists in recent months, not a single perpetrator has been brought to justice. The situation appears to have further deteriorated since the emergence of local opposition groups during Kurdish parliamentary elections in July 2009. Attempts by the main opposition party, Change, to ride atop the wave of public resentment toward the incident almost led to a political crisis with the KDP. The two parties have launched a media war against each other in a bid to vilify and demonize the other side. The unbecoming language used is often reminiscent of the dark era of the Kurdish civil war in the 1990s.
Osman's death remains unsolved, but the interpretation of the murder is now a matter of perception in Kurdistan. The reality is that many, albeit with no hard evidence, suspect the involvement of local authorities, especially from the KDP. The KDP is in charge of the security of the Kurdish capital, Irbil, where Osman was abducted. The KRG and KDP authorities are now in the process of what they have pledged to be a serious investigation. Through transparency and professionalism, Kurdistan's authorities must use the investigation over Osman's death as an opportunity to restore trust with the public and demonstrate serious commitment to protect the lives and dignity of journalists. To remove any suspicion on the whole of the government system, they must also do their utmost to bring the murderers to justice.
The problem has received growing international attention. Reporters Without Borders issued a statement last month to draw attention to the declining conditions for Kurdish journalists. The KDP and PUK seem "to have reached an agreement to muzzle the press and restrict the freedom of journalists as much as possible." They also reported that about a dozen Kurdish journalists were attacked by security forces and officials' bodyguards while covering events last April.
The United States has expressed concern over such violations in Kurdistan and across Iraq. To many in Iraq, it does not seem like the U.S. has made improving human rights and freedoms across Iraq a top priority. As the U.S. prepares to leave Iraq, it should place as much emphasis on democracy and human rights as it does on security, as it has been the main international protector of Kurdish self-rule since its inception in 1991. Of paramount importance is practical commitment to a press law passed by the Kurdish parliament in 2008. While the law -- highly progressive by regional standards -- is to be the basis of dealing with the media, courts and government officials still circumvent its provisions and many a times continue to try journalists according to the repressive laws of Saddam Hussein's era.
Iraqi Kurdistan remains a half-full, half-empty success story. In order to prevent any further damage, the U.S. should play its part in assisting Kurdish civil society and use its leverage to push Kurdish leaders to take more serious steps toward democratization and respect for human rights and liberties. Under the previous regimes in Iraq, the Kurds suffered the grossest forms of human rights atrocities and violations of their basic freedoms. The link between freedom of speech and democracy is a no-brainer. Thomas Jefferson once said he preferred a press without government to a government without press. Kurdish authorities, who claim both democratic and revolutionary legitimacy, should in no way attempt to limit freedom of speech and must take serious steps to protect these fundamental freedoms of their people.
Mohammed A. Salih is an Iraqi Kurdish journalist who has written for the Inter Press Service news agency, the Nation, and BBC News website.
المقالات المنشورة على هذا الموقع لا تعكس بالضرورة آراء منظمتنا أو أعضاء منظمتنا
While the point itself may not have more than Abbasid houses under the ground, it is adjacent to the palace of Sur Isa, the remains of which can be seen in the photo. While the initial construction might or might not touch the palace, accompanying activities will certainly spread over it.Sur Isa can be identified with the palace of al-Burj, built by the
Abbasid Caliph al-Mutawakkil, probably in 852-3 (Northedge, Historical Topography of Samarra, pp 125-127, 240). The palace is said to have cost 33 million dirhams, and was luxurious. Details are given by al-Shabushti, Kitab al-Diyarat.
Samarra was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO at the end of June. The barracks could easily have been built elsewhere, off the archaeological site.--
Alastair Northedge Professeur d'Art et d'Archeologie Islamiques UFR d'Art et d'Archeologie
Universite de Paris I (Pantheon-Sorbonne) 3, rue Michelet, 75006 Paris
tel. 01 53 73 71 08 telecopie : 01 53 73 71 13 Email :
Alastair.Northedge@univ-paris1.fr ou firstname.lastname@example.org