20 December 2017
URGENT PRAYER REQUEST: CPT partner Mohammad Salah Mahdi Arrested by
Kurdish Secret Police
|Mohammad Salah Mahdi (right) talking about nonviolent protest on Kurdish TV|
On 18 December, CPT partner Mohammad Salah Mahdi was swept up in a Kurdish Regional Government crackdown on thousands of peaceful demonstrators who demanded that their leaders step down because of
corruption. Teachers, like Mohammad, and other government employees have
not received their full salaries since 2015. After many hours of not knowing Mohammad’s
location, the team found out the prison where the Asaish (Kurdish secret
police) were interrogating him. As
of this writing he is still in the Asaish jail, but family members have been
able to visit him. Mohammad has worked
with Christian Peacemaker Teams for ten years, and went through CPT training in
Currently the Asaish are arresting many activists at their
homes in Sulaimani. In Koya, the Asaish invaded a school and kicked teachers in
front of the students. In Ranya, people are fighting in the street with
weapons. Ten people have died there, including a boy, and more than 100 people
injured. The dead and wounded all over
Kurdistan cannot be counted, in part, because of a crackdown on the press. Asaish entered the headquarters of NRT TV,
arrested the staff and shut both the station and website down. The government has also blocked the Internet
for many hours.
Please hold all the people of Iraqi Kurdistan, including
Mohammad Salah Mahdi and his family, in your prayers, as they face these
violations of their freedom and their dignity.
PLEASE CIRCULATE WIDELY.