Will Kurdish Asayish return to Kirkuk?

November 10, 2017 at 8:31 am

relatives of those arrested call on governor Said to find out what happened to their loved ones. (7 November 2017)

When the Iraqi security forces and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) were busy discussing the return of the PUK Asayish internal police to Kirkuk on November 7, tens of people nearby were calling on the authorities to reveal what has happened to their loved ones who had been arrested by the Kurdish Asayish security forces.

Both the PUK and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) operated their internal security forces in Kirkuk known as Asayish with almost no coordination with each other. Hundreds of people were arrested by both forces since June 2014 when the Kurds took over the security of Kirkuk and other disputed areas after Islamic State swooped across northren Iraq and the Iraqi security forces fled in their thousands.

“If my son is a thief or a murderer, hand him over to the court,”  the mother of Honar Salah Shokr who raised her son’s picture outside Kirkuk governor’s office said on November 7. Honar, 30, a Kurd was arrested by Kurdish security in October 2016 and his family do not know what has happened to him.

Honar’s brother Dyari says in August 2016, two grenades were planted outside their house and the security forces removed them but that night Honar and his cousin were in Shorija neighbourhood when they were fired upon and the cousin was killed. “Honar was wounded seriously in the shooting which came from an Opel car,” Dyari said.

“18 times I have gone to the PUK Malband, five times to the governor’s office and five times to Sulaymaniyah to look for my son,” The mother of Honar said. “ We demonstrated but they fired in the air… i want the court to decide my son’s fate.”

Halkawt Abdullah in charge of PUK Asayish says they have not done anything illegal, the protesters can go to court and inquire about their loved ones there.

The return of the Kurdish Asayish is a hot topic and the Turkmen front is calling on Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to prevent the Asayish from returning. Abadi called for an investigation into the disapperances and those arrested.

Mohammad Osman a member of the national parliament from the PUK said on November 6 that there was an agreement with the Iraqi side for the PUK Asayish to return to Kirkuk.

The acting governor Rakan Said met with the people who protested to find out the fate of their loved ones on November 7 and he promised them to form a committee to investigate the disappearances.

KDP Asayish were not ready to talk to Kirkuknow about the issue.

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