19 August 2011
IRAQ UPDATE: 16-31 July
On team during this time were David Hovde, Garland
Robertson, Zachary Selekman, and Chihchun Yuan.
Visits and Interviews
On 16 July, the team visited the home of Karwan Kamal, a
lawyer who represents people involved in the spring protests against corruption
in the government. A man shot Karwan with a handgun in a car park on 26
June. Kamal told the team that investigators
found that the bullets shot at him are the kind that only the government security
forces possess. He said he would
not be able to put weight on his foot hit by one of the bullets for several
Sirwan Ahmedi and his cousin, Shahram Bolouri—a Kurd from
Iran who came to Iraq in early July to escape imprisonment and torture for
participating in demonstrations in Tehran—visited the team on 19 July. Shahram expressed to the team his
desire to get asylum in another country.
The team posted his story on the CPT Iraq’s blog site.
Basm William and Ayad Klanm, Christians from Baghdad—who
moved to the Kurdish Regional Government in 2011 and 2007 respectively because
Shia militias threatened their families’ lives—visited the team on 25 July. They also expressed their desperation
to gain asylum in another country. Click on their names to read more of their stories.
Accepted into the Federation
On 20 July, the team received notice that the Federation of
Civil Society Organizations, a local group of NGOs and individuals who work
together to promote justice and peace, had accepted CPT Iraq as a member.
Trip to the Iran Border
On 28 July, the team traveled to the village of Kani Spi,
where team members Peggy Gish and Lukasz Firla stayed during 9-16 June to
accompany the villagers during the growing season, when Iran annually bombs and
shells the area. The team had not
been able to get permission to return until this trip. Read about the Iranian attacks on Kurdish
villages and the team’s visit to Kani Spi. To write to the Iranian ambassador to
the United Nations, H. E. Mr. Mohammed Khazee, to ask him to do what he can to
stop the attacks on Iraqi Kurdish villages send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org, with a copy to the UN Human Rights
The team’s translator, Mohammed Salah, gave a number of
Kurdish lessons to team members.
Team members continued to attend the evening political forums at the
Culture Café, which security forces threatened to close in mid-July. The team had a picnic in the mountains
of Zewe 30 July.