By: Shwan Zulal
Thursday, March 31, 2011
By: Shwan Zulal
After a brief wobble in the last couple of days, the protest continues in the usual areas of Kurdistan. The level of participation have dropped somewhat in the past week but today the crowd has rallied once more and large numbers have attended the protests across Kurdistan in Slemani(Sulaimaniyah), Chamchamal, Kalar and other small towns and cities. It has been six weeks since the start of the protest but so far the main demands of the protesters are not met and the government have been very slow in responding. The authorities are trying to buy as much time as possible in order to slow down the momentum of the protest. Their strategy has had some effect, however, the protest is getting momentum once again and the incumbents are making more concessions but not in a constructive way.
Presidency Office have published a statement indicating that President Barzani would announce new measures to deal with people who take part in violent demonstrations and those who shoot protesters. The statement in itself says a lot about state of the legal system in Kurdistan, which cannot deal with thugs shooting unarmed civilians, furthermore, Barzani, is trying to put peaceful demonstrators in par with thugs shooting at them.
The Kurdish press have been reporting today in Kalar that a large force have been seen in the city armed with heavy weaponry in an effort to intimidate the protesters. The authority managed to move the area of the protest to a nearby Park but violence ensued soon and one opposition MP from Goran(Change movement) got caught up in the mayhem. He suffered light head injuries after being attacked by knife, reported Lvinepress.
These tactics have not been successful and it is hard to tell whether the strategy is coordinated or it is sporadic and due to disorganisation of the authorities. Earlier this week a video has sprung up on internet showing the briefing of the security force in Slemani before one of the protest in the city. Later that day the same men shot people killing one and injuring many others. It is clear from the video that the commander is asking the security personal not to shoot but despite warnings his orders were ignored and the security fore killed a protester an hour later.
This type of behaviour by the security forces are a pattern which keeps repeating itself and it is an indication that these so called security forces have no discipline. Majority of the people have been given a job in the security workforce due to their lack of respect for fellow humans and their brutal nature. This raises important questions about the reasons why the authorities have been surrounding themselves with thugs for so many years. From the recent events, it is clear that these forces are uncoordinated and lacks a command structure, which renders it out of control. Both political parties and KRG have not allowed the prosecution of these perpetrators, whom shot and killed unarmed protesters. The incumbent refuses to let justice take its course because these so-called security forces belonging to PUK and KDP are the ones who are propping up the militia rule. Without the support of these despotic organisations PUK and KDP's grip on power will loosen, therefore, both parties cannot afford to alienate the organisation by prosecuting their members as they might turn against them.