Sulaimany: Twelfth Day of Protest, They Keep Going

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Sulaimany is in Funeral, Hawler it is no time to Celebrate

Today was day twelve of protest in Sulaimany, Iraqi Kurdistan. Despite yesterday’s violent, Protesters took to the street again.

The weather today was moody, cloudy sky with no rain, a dust storm covered the city, in the north of the city one could rarely see the Goeza Mountains as it was covered in a yellowish dust. There were more heavy security present in and around Maidany Azady, different Security Forces were scattered on the streets leading to it. For the first time in a few days the anti-riot forces (they call them Cockroaches) were out by numbers, they were kept at a fair distance from Maidany Azady, blocking some of the small roads in the neighborhoods, they are the most hated by the Protesters, they stood in their places in lines, at times, some Young Men would jeers or boo at them, “Hey You Cockroaches, GO back to Your Holes” “ئەی قالۆنچەکان، بچنەوە ناو کونەکانتان”, anger on the face of the forces, but they kept it cool. There were also some Security Forces dressed in black, not sure who there were. Later, the numbers of Security Service went down a little around Maidany Azady. As always, the streets of Salim in which KDP’s headquarter is located and the arch that separate Mawlawy from Salim had the most Security.

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The first major incident of today took place around 5:00 PM of last night, heavy gun fire, it went on for a while. Some people began to gather in front of the City Morgue which is close to University of Sulaimany in the morning. There were news that the anti-terror forces had killed some terrorist. Later, Kurdsat TV showed Anti-Terror and Security forces in an empty building shooting, later, about 4 dead bodies is shown, looked as if they were dressed in military cloth with Kalashenkov beside them. At one point. there is a sound of an explosion and one the Forces shout “He blow up himself”. The Mayor of city and the head of Security hold a tense press conference later, one reporter asked them if they knew the name or IDs of the terrorist, “They didn’t have any on them”, another one asked them that some think that it was staged to scare people “We well show the footage and you will see it yourself”, they said that if they had not been stopped, there might have been a terrorist attack tonight in Sulaimany, “If it were not for the Protest, they would not be in the city”. The head of the security mentioned at the press conference that the intelligence was a collaboration between the Army, Security Forces in Sulaimany and the American forces. There were also sound of gunfire around 10:00 PM.

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City of Sadness

At Maidany Azady, the protest went on peacefully today, at Sakaoy Sara (A table with mic on in which people would come and speak) various people spoke and made speeches, Rebin Hardi made a memorable speech. A group was made up called ” ئەنجومەنی سەرای ئازای” “”Group of Saray Azadi”, there is news that they will soon start to publish newspapers and leaflets, there is more organization among the Protesters than ever. The number of the crowds same as any other day, if not larger. Beside speeches, they played Patriotic music and versed of Koran. Many workers would join in after work, one of them said that “I’m been coming here every day after work, how long can we keep this going? Why just make speech? We have to do something else”, some of them were so tired, they would sit down on the wet ground, take a smoke and with sad and sleepy eye would listen to the speeches, from time to time they would chant and applause. There was a beggar, walking around and ask for money. More Religious leaders join in to make speeches. More calls for Erbil (Halwer) to join in, “ھەولێر بۆ ھەر بێدەنگی؟” “Hawler why are you still silent?”. The White Group (Peace Group) were present today also. Life went on normally in the rest of the city.

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Where Is the Friend’s House?

Despite not having permit, the Students at University of Sulaimany went on protesting, larger crowds yet. There was news among some of the Student that they might go on hunger strike and bring in tents into the center of the University. The President of the University hold a press conference asking the Student not to protest any more. News of protest in many cities across Europe to condemn the violent used against the protesters. The Protesters in front of KRG’s office in London are still on hunger strike, on its 8th day, news that the live of one of the Protester might be at risk. There was report of an arrest warrants for Faiaq Gulpi (member of KNK) for being behind the Halabja protest, he talked on the phone to Roj TV “I don’t have any respect of a judicial system that is run by two political party” and “It is unbelievable, that 7 Protesters are dead and hundreds are wounded, instead of arresting the killers whose picture are everywhere, they are trying to arrest me for making a speech”, “If they go on like this, their fate won’t be better than Hosni Mubarack and Bin Ali”. Petitions to hold Protest Erbil were not given. Some Protesters were angry today at Gali Kurdistan TV and Kurdsat TV (belong to PUK) about yesterday’s coverage of the Sound Bomb explosion at Maidany Azady, on their lower third they referred to it ” the explosion and the sound was due to the electricity”. The Young Man who died yesterday in the front of Mizgawty Garwa was Omed Jalal Darwish, he was 25. People today gathered to look the place at Maidany Azadi in which the Sound Bomb was exploded yesterday, a small hole, pieces of concretes scattered around “Look at that, they probably throw it from top of that building”, “No, they say it was thrown from inside the crowd”, the hole was under a tree, some of its branches were still on the ground. More anger at KRG government, “Where is the government?, Where are the leaders?, Why don’t they come and talk to us?”

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Kurdsat: “ the sound was due to the electricity“

There was news that subscribers of Korek Telecom had problem communicating in Sulaimany and especially in Koya, later on its lower third, Zagros TV wrote that a technical problem is caused by fire and soon everything will go back to normal. Meanwhile, the President of Salahaddin University at Erbil talked to Kurdistan TV and claims that he had no idea who sent back the Students home and that the University will be open from Sunday and onward. Also, yesterday a group of Religious Leaders in Erbil issued a Fatwa declaring that shooting at protesters is forbidden, Kurdistan TV (belong to KDP) did its best to call some Mullah to say that they did not participate in the Fatwa and they did not mention “shooting at Protester”, rather, Kurdistan TV paid more attention at “Protesters should protest peacefully” part of of the Fatwa.

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The Color of a Sound Bomb

There is news that in Chamchamal and Kalar, the Security Service are arresting large numbers of people. Another of the wounded from Kalar died today, his name was Rashed Ahmed, age 65. Hawlati newspaper report that in protest so far the number of dead 7 and wounded at 200. Report that a Hawlati reporter was beaten today in Erbil by KDP security.

KNN TV show footage of Rashed Ahmed, age 65, who died from his wound, he is bleeding in front of a shop, hit in chest, in pain.

KNN TV show the funeral of Garmian, the Young Boy of 11, who was killed in front of KDP’s headquarter in Kalar, his Mom is crying, he was their only son, “My son was too young to even know what politic is”, sad to see.

Also, some staff of Nalia TV (NRT) announced that they will start to broadcast soon. They gave TV to KRG government to investigate and meet their demands, if not, they will got to International Court.

The Moving Silent





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