Tribal reconciliation rejected

Student whose relatives attacked principal terminated

Temporary-hired lecturers gathered in front of the General Directorate of Education in Kifri, September 13, 2020. KirkukNow

By Laila Ahmad in Kifri

The Kifri Education Directorate has approved the termination of a student whose family attacked a school principal last March this year, breaking his head and wounding his arm.

The incident occurred on March 8 between the principal of Imam Mohammed School in Kifri district and a 14-year-old student named Bilal Nawzad. The case is currently in court and attempts at out-of-court tribal reconciliation have failed.

"On March 25, the teachers' council decided to dismiss the student, and on April 5, the Kifri education department approved the decision," Saiwan Ali, the school's director, told Kirkuk Now.

The student and four other members of the same family, including his mother, were arrested under Article 230 of the Iraqi Penal Code.

The student's mother spent only six days in jail, the others a week, and only his father spent 20 days before being released on bail.

The article stipulates that whoever assaults an employee or any person entrusted with a public service, a council, an official body, or a judicial or administrative court, while performing their duties or because of that, shall be punished with imprisonment for a period of up to three years or a financial penalty.

“I have left the matter to the law and have rejected all attempts by his father and relatives to resolve it through tribal reconciliation,” Ali said.

The incident took place on Wednesday, March 8, after a dispute arose between the school administration of a secondary school and one of the students. As a result, Nawzad, who is in the eighth grade of middle school, left the school and returned home, taking his parents and some of his relatives with him.

“All the teachers complain about this student because of the problems he creates in class. They advise him a lot but he does not listen to anything. We called his family several times to talk to them, but no one showed up,” said the principal.

According to Ali, the last time they asked the student to bring his parents to school was on Wednesday, March 8, "after he caused a problem in the fourth lesson, but he left the school through the outer fence, and soon his parents and a number of his relatives came and assaulted us."

I have left the issue to the law and rejected tribal reconciliation for a solution

"A little while ago they sent several men again to make me compromise and withdraw my demand, but I said the rule of law must prevail," Ali told KirkukNow on April 5th, 2023.

So far, one court hearing has been held on the case and both sides have testified.

While the Kifri education department approved the termination of the student for one year on Wednesday, April 5, Ali affirmed, “There were attempts not to dismiss him and (instead just) transfer him to another school. I was not aware of such attempts but when knew, I rejected it since transfer needs approval of both principals.”

The principal of the school narrated the details of the incident to (KirkukNow) while he was present at the Kifri court on March 9, to file a lawsuit.

Kifri is one of the disputed districts between the Iraqi federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government KRG, under the Garmian administration and its schools are affiliated to the KRG Ministry of Education.

Kifri, home to over 50,000 people, is part of Diyala province run by the Iraqi government, while administratively is one of the districts of the Garmian administration.

Garmian local administration which includes several districts and sub-districts between Sulaymaniyah and Diyala province is part of Sulaymaniyah Northern Province, one of the provinces of Kurdistan Region of Iraq KRI under the KRG.

Azad Nasraddin, the student's uncle (Bilal Nawzad), confirmed the termination of his nephew, saying: "This decision is very difficult for us and harmful to our son.”

“We tried not to expel Bilal and only transfer him to that school, but then teacher Saiwan refused, so they finally expelled him,” he added.

“We don't want the problem to get bigger. Let the law rule and terminate our son, understood. We are ashamed of teacher Saiwan because Bilal's family got mad at the beginning of the fight and went to the school and broke his head."

Article four of law number 4 of 2018 for protection of teachers dictates one to four years-in-prison for any one assaults a teacher or an educational supervisor. It also clearly denies access of security and military services to educational campuses.

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