Protests and violence continue in Slêmanî

Updates for Saturday, 19 February (submitted by W. Karda):

- Based on Lvin, the shootout in February 17th which resulted in dozens of civilian victims was committed under the order of Fadhil Mirani, a high official in the KDP. Fadhil Mirani had ordered Branch 4 security not to spare anyone, even if the shooting resulted in killing civilians. See this link.

- In the protests of yesterday, February 18, 25 protesters were arrested and were delivered to Ma’askar Salam Prison.

- In a press conference, Nechirvan Barzani didn’t condemn the shooting and justified it by saying ‘If the protesters had come and killed our members, would that be right? This is something that must be investigated.’ He also states: ‘We demand the government to investigate this issue and we think that wrong was done upon us, an investigation must be carried out and the guilty (amongst protesters) must be brought to the court, this is our request.’ Surprisingly, he didn’t utter a single word about those who shot at the crowd and killed and wounded dozens..!

- Dr. Barham Salih, the Prime Minister of Kurdistan region has announced that they have formed an investigation team. He said: ‘This team (committee) will investigate what happened in front of Branch 4 on Thursday. After the investigations, whoever is found guilty of the chaos will be revealed on TV and be brought to court and dealt with.’ He too, again, didn’t talk at all about bringing those who shot at the people to justice.

- It is planned that on Sunday, February 20th, a group of Kurds in Stockholm in Sweden to arrange a demonstration to protest against the killing of civilians and the allowance of a massive army into the city of Silemani.

- Yesterday, some groups in the University of Silemani announced they are preparing themselves to demonstrate the next day (today) protesting the massive influx of Zeravani army into the city, the shooters to be brought to justice and Barzani himself to apologize to the people of Silemani. It is not yet clear if the protest by the students took place today or not.

- The students of College of Arts in Khanaqin had planned to wear black today for the same aforementioned reasons.

- The father of one of the victims has complained that the name of his son is nowhere to be found. While many media outlets showed the photo of a young boy wearing a red shirt and blue jeans whose head was bleeding and identified him as Rezhwan Ali, the only death so far announced. But actually, Rezhwan was wearing a black jeans and the boy in the photo is Zmnako Rzgar, who, according to his father, is in a very unstable health condition and in intensive care. Doctors say ‘his brain has stopped working but his heart is still beating.’ Zmnako is 16. More here.

- Yesterday, a group under the name of Khopishandarani Khorsk demanded to carry out another demonstration the next day (today) in Silemani in Bar Darky Sara Square, then march to Mawlawi Street, and from there to Branch 4.

- The protest took place today with Farouq Rafiq, a well-known intellectual was among the crowd, who demanded that the KDP army, Zeravani forces, to withdraw from the city and also for the shooters and head of Branch 4 to be brought to court for killing and wounding civilians. It is said that he has also stated that ‘Bardarky Sara square is our Freedom Square, we will not move away until our demands are met.’

- Thousands of protesters gathered today for the same aforementioned reasons. They were chanting ‘What do you want Silemani, the withdrawal of Zeravani’, ‘Silemani doesn’t fear the forces of Zeravani,’ and ‘In raining and hailing, Slemani has high morale.’ Riot police are trying to block their way by using electrified batons and also water pumps from firefighter vehicles. Many shops are closed and the situation seems extremely tense.

- A confrontation took place between demonstrators and riot police, protesters forced some police to flee after showering them with rocks. Protesters destroyed a firefighter vehicle after it ran out of water, in exchange riot police pushed back by using force and arrested some of them.

- Protest continues, they are chanting ‘Zeravani get out’ and ‘Down with Barzani.

- Things just got out of hand, in a very urgent news by local media, riot police started to shoot at the crowd to disperse them, so far one is wounded.

- Shooting continues, the protesters have run into the streets and ambulances are rushing to scene. Tension is sky high.

- Hawlati reports that although the crowd has dispersed, police are chasing after them street by street and is shooting at them.

- Protest continues. Protesters are burning wood and tiers on the streets so that firefighters turn their attention away from them, shooting also continues.

- A huge force has entered the Emergency Hospital to arrest the wounded protesters. So far, 10 protesters are wounded and 2 riot police.

- DPK is on high alert in Garmyan and has filled its bases and HQs with dozens of soldiers.

- The building of the Student Union, a KDP-sponsored student organization, was just set ablaze by protesters in Silemani.

- Talabani just reached Silemani and is planning to hold an immediate emergency meeting.

- A force, wearing civilian clothing, has started shooting at protesters.

- Chaos abounds..! Division amongst police.! Security forces and riot police started fighting each other and directed their guns at each other after a group of them refused to hit the protesters and tried to stop the other ones from hitting the civilians.

- Zeravani forces have spread throughout Bazian, a town very close to Silemani.

- Protester numbers is increasing with an extremely heavy military presence throughout the city.

- Security forces are taking photo of the protesters, most likely to identify them later and arrest them.  See more here.

-More photos can be viewed here.

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5 thoughts on “Protests and violence continue in Slêmanî

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Protests and violence continue in Slêmanî « KURDISTAN COMMENTARY -- Topsy.com

  2. From my brother who is in Slemanyi – he attend in demonstyration on which Faruq Rafiq had his peech. According to his words – it was peaceful demonstrations and nobody get hurt there. He said students make the demonstration today as well. According to his words yesterday 11 people were killed (one boy of the age of 12) and 60 injured. when i asked him whats going on, his words were: THEY KILLED KURDS. while we were chatting he said that demonstration is near to his workplace, then he said: KULKA, I WILL GO TO JOIN THEM, PRAY FOR US.
    He came back safe. he said soldiers are everywhere, but he didnt say they are shooting.

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