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 Iraqi Kurdistan: Fifty people arrested for waving the Iraqi flag

 Source : DPA | AKI | eKurd.net
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Iraqi Kurdistan: Fifty people arrested for waving the Iraqi flag  31.7.2007




July 31, 2007

Duhok, Kurdistan region (Iraq), (ekurd.net), -- Kurdish Security forces in Duhok city in the Kurdistan Autonomous Region in the north of Iraq arrested 50 people for waving the Iraqi flag to celebrate the victory of the Iraqi national football team, a police source said Monday.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, 'The Kurdish security forces seize anybody carrying the Iraqi flag, even for one hour.'

According to AKI, a police officer in the Duhok province said those arrested were predominantly Christians or members of the Yezidi minority, a religious community which passes on its beliefs via oral tradition.

Kurdistan region is a safe haven for thousands Arab refugees from the rest (Arab) part of Iraq. Mostly Arab fans waved with the Iraqi flag, a source from Duhok said.

The region's president Massoud Barzani had earlier ordered that the Kurdistan flag would replace the Iraqi one in all the cities of the autonomous region. The order said that "regions in Iraq's Kurdistan which have been hoisting the Baathist flag should lower it and hoist only the Kurdistan flag".

Massoud Barzani said earlier, "the present flag is not the flag of Iraq, but of the Baath party and chemical strikes, drainage of the marshes, putting down uprisings and mass graves."

On Sunday, the Iraqi national football team won the Asian Cup title for the first time in its history.

Iraq's Kurdish minority has enjoyed wide autonomy since Saddam's defeat in the 1991 Gulf War over Kuwait and strongly supported the 2003 US-led liberation which unseated him.
The brutal Anfal campaign of 1988 by the former Saddam regime 182,000 Kurds were killed and 4,000 villages wiped out.

DPA | eKurd.net | AKI

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