Partisan support, human rights abuses on the rise in Erbil

Reports 11:30 AM - 2023-04-16
 Victims whose heads were shaved as an insult in Erbil. PUKMEDIA

Victims whose heads were shaved as an insult in Erbil.

Kurdistan Region Human Rights Erbil

kidnapping and assaults of lawyers, musicians, and regular citizens with partisan support are now a common occurrence in Erbil while the governor of Erbil says: "Erbil is a big city and these things happen."

A consultant lawyer was abducted in front of his home in Erbil. After being severely tortured, having his face and other body parts shattered, and his head was also shaved.  The lawyer's brother said: "If the defender of the law is treated like that, other people are doomed."

Human Rights is concerned about the events in Erbil
Romeo Huziran Nisan, Chairman of the Human Rights Committee in the Kurdistan Parliament, told PUKMEDIA: "We condemn all attacks on human rights in the Kurdistan Region and are concerned about the violations of human rights in Erbil." 

"There have been numerous instances of human rights violations in Erbil recently, and the Human Rights Committee will present its memorandum to the speaker of parliament to demand an exhaustive investigation and the arrest of those responsible," Nisan added.
Four gunmen kidnap a lawyer in Erbil
Four gunmen broke into the house of a consultant lawyer in Erbil last night and kidnapped him and severely tortured him and shaved his head.

Mohammed Yaba, a consultant lawyer in Erbil, told the media: "When they tortured me, beat me, attacked me, and shaved my head, they recorded me on camera."

"They abused me relentlessly in every way from 11:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m...There were several armed men who told me, "We will do this, we have no fear of anyone, do everything you can," Yaba said.

The victim's brother told the media: "If the defender of the law is treated like that, other people are doomed and my brother was treated like that due to a legal case because we have no enmity with anyone." 

Meanwhile, Erbil Governor Omed Khoshnaw told the media: "Erbil is a big city and these things happen, but we are trying to bring the suspects to justice." 
Bar Association: We will take a position
The Kurdistan Bar Association (KBU) has issued a statement following the incident and said: “After physical and mental torture, lawyer Mohammed Yaba's head was shaved for insult, alongside the plaintiff's lawsuit, we also will file our complaint against the perpetrators of this crime and we will take all legal measures against this crime.”
The PUK Legal Affairs Center condemns the crime
"We strongly condemn the terrible crime done in Erbil by certain outlaws in the most barbaric manner against the consultant lawyer (Mohammed Yaba Sofi)," the Legal Affairs Center of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) said in a statement regarding the incident.

The statement added: "This crime was not perpetrated against the lawyer alone, but was an assault on the entire judiciary and the rule of law in the Kurdistan Region, "As stated in Article (22) of the law on lawyers; Assaulting a lawyer is like assaulting a judge."
Researcher: Assault on a person's dignity leaves a bad effect
The government and the appropriate authorities are urged by a social researcher to take stronger action against these situations, which constitute a flagrant violation of human rights.

Social researcher Zhwan Ali told PUKMEDIA: "These crimes inflict long-term negative effects on the victims to the point of committing suicide."

"The government and the relevant authorities should speak out more on these cases, because it is not just a head shave, on the contrary, it is a violation of human rights in the worst way and leaves a very bad negative impact on the victim," she said.
Previously, a singer was attacked in Erbil
A Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) member named Keyfi Sabir Ahmed assaulted and shaved the head of a Kurdish national singer named Danny Swidi last month in Erbil, sparking outrage.

"I escaped Duhok to Erbil as I was terrified of the son of a KDP military commander, Badal Bandi," a doctor from Duhok named Nawzad Salih said in a press conference on March 4, 2023. "My life is still in danger."
After 21 years of service, a Peshmerga's head was shaved
A Peshmerga named Hemin Bineslaway had his head and eyebrows shaved earlier after being humiliated by a KDP force. Even though the victim served in the Peshmerga for 21 years, no committee was established to look into the occurrence. He was instead expelled from Erbil and currently resides in Sulaymaniyah.

The number of kidnapping, head-shaving, and torture cases carried out by armed party members in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region, has grown. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has been warned about the threat and urged to stop human rights violations by international reports, which show that human rights in the region are completely in decline and that individual liberties are constrained by party choices.


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