Kurdistan Islamic Union responds to
December 10, 2005
Kurdistan region 'Iraq', ó Four people were killed
on 6 December during an attack on the offices of the
Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU). Among those killed
was a senior KIU official. In an interview conducted
on 7 December and aired on the same day, RFE/RL's
Radio Free Iraq (RFI) asked a member of the KIUís
leadership, Abu Bakr Karwani, for the blocís
response to the attacks in Dahuk, capital of one of
three Kurd-controlled governorates, and in five
other towns in the region. With Iraqis preparing to
go to the polls to vote in parliamentary elections
on 15 December, RFI also asked about the possible
impact on Kurdish political dialogue after the vote.
Karwani: Our position was clearly outlined in
the statement that the Kurdistan Islamic Union
issued. We strongly condemn the attacks against our
offices in the Bahdinan region [which falls within
the Dahuk governorate], which we labeled brazen and
RFI: Can these
acts be seen as a violation of the law on electoral
campaigning? What will your reaction be?
Karwani: I think
the definition of a violation is clear, and this
Iraqi Kurds stand watching fire at the KIU building
in Duhok, December 6, 2005. One senior official of
the KIU was among those killed when angry Kurd
youths threw stones and set fire to party buildings
in six towns. Photo: Reuters
has been an outright
violation. This is a clear and scandalous violation.
Violence was used, people killed, and some 30
injured, with others arrested.
At this very moment, members of the Kurdistan
Islamic Union are being raided and harassed. We are
therefore pursuing all peaceful measures available.
We have contacted the [Kurdistan] regionís president
[Masíud Barzani], the president of the Republic of
Iraq [Jalal Talabani], and the UNHCR [the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees]. The leadership of the
Kurdistan Islamic Union will gather to decide what
steps and measures to take next following the
incidents that have affected our brothers in the
RFI: You hinted
in your statement that the perpetrators of these
acts are supporters of the Kurdistan Coalition List.
Did you do anything that could have upset the List
and provoked it to attack your offices?
Karwani: We do not think so. In Kurdistan,
however, there is no strong history of a culture of
democracy and of respect to othersí opinions. That
is why the mere fact that we entered the [political]
scene as a list [separate from the Kurdistan
Coalition List] was [perceived by some as] a crime.
That proved unsettling and provocative.
media have recently paid major attention to the
Kurdistan Islamic Unionís withdrawal from the
Kurdistan Coalition List [in late October] and to
the fact that you took part in the previous
elections [in January 2005] with the List. Do you
think your withdrawal may have further ramifications
for Kurdish dialogue about the future of Kurdistan?
Karwani: We do not think so. We feel
ourselves to be part of the people of Kurdistan and
one of Kurdistanís political groupings. If we win a
seat in the Iraqi parliament, we will strongly
defend the justified causes of the people of
Our program is clear on this: we identify ourselves
with all the key causes of the [political] scene in
Kurdistan. It can only be that a few people on the
rival list have on occasion [chosen] to launch a
psychological war or to distort the image of the
Kurdistan Islamic Union [Ö]. Our separate position
in the [election] has not affected our pro-Kurdish
discourse. We are one of the parties in Kurdistan.
We are a civic party with a religious orientation.
We have no militia or other tools of violence.
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