March 22, 2016
IRAQI KURDISTAN: KRG Authorities Prevent CPT from Conducting a Public Action
by Rebaz K. Mohammed, CPT Trainee, Sulaimani-Iraq
Asaysh (security) department in Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, denied approval for a group of CPT trainees to conduct a public action in solidarity with the government employees. The action was to take place in Azadi (freedom) Park, Sulaimani, on the February 19, 2016.
After the regional government of Iraqi Kurdistan (KRG) failed to pay public-sector employees’ salaries for the last 5 months, a number of public sector employees in Sulaimani went on a strike demanding their rights in salaries. The strike included, but not limited to, teachers, traffic police, and doctors.
The 2016 CPT-training group in Sulaimani prepared a public action to demonstrate their appreciation for the hard work the employees have done without pay for such a long time, and at the same time, to show support for the employees’ demand for their rights. This would have been demonstrated through a short theatrical performance by the trainees, with the support of the CPT team in Sulaimani.
After the trainees and CPT team spent several days in the process of receiving a security approval, the Asaysh department denied the approval for the action. Asaysh officials’ justification was that “they will not allow any destructive action to take part in Sulaimani.”
CPT trainees decided to show their support for the employees despite the fact the Asaysh prohibited them to conduct their performance in public. They will be conducting the performance on the rooftop of the CPT office in Sulaimani, and publishing a video of it through social media.