Foreigners who enter Iraq through
Kurdistan without Baghdad visa face arrest in the Arab
part of Iraq
Foreigners feel save in Kurdistan, face arrest
February 9, 2009
BAGHDAD, — Foreigners who
enter Iraq through Kurdistan autonomous region in
Iraq's north without a visa issued by the
authorities in Baghdad will face arrest and legal
charges in Iraq, outside Kurdistan region, the Iraqi
interior ministry warned on Monday.
The announcement came after an Italian national was
detained in the former rebel stronghold of Fallujah,www.ekurd.net
in western Iraq, after having
been issued with a 10-day visa in the autonomous
Kurdish north of the country.
"Any foreigner entering Iraq through the border
posts of Kurdistan without a visa from the Baghdad
government will be arrested," under a new directive
issued by the interior ministry, spokesman Abdul
Karim Khalaf said.
"Foreigners wishing to visit Iraqi territory,
whether they are journalists or others, must obtain
an official visa to carry out their activities in
Iraq," he said.
"The interior ministry is the only authority
entitled" to issue such a visa, the spokesman said.
Under the law, foreigners without the proper visa
from Baghdad will face legal charges, he said. They
would be "sentenced to fines or prison terms, to be
followed by deportation."
However, an official of the autonomous government in
Kurdistan (KRG), Falah Mustapha, said the region's
visa procedures were being coordinated with the
authorities in Baghdad.
Foreigners are unlikely to be arrested under the new
visa rules in the three autonomous Kurdish
where the Kurdish peshmerga
instead of the central government's security forces
are in control.
On Friday, the New York Times reported that a
33-year-old Italian, Luca Marchio, had been detained
in Fallujah after having passed through northern
Iraq, outside Kurdistan region, following trips to
Egypt and Turkey.
"I am a tourist. I want to see the most important
cities in the country. That is the reason why I am
here now ... I want to see and understand the
reality because I have never been here before," he
told the daily.
Khalaf told AFP the Italian was deported after
having been detained.
Since 1991, the Kurds of Iraq achieved self-rule in
part of the country. Today's teenagers are the first
generation to grow up under Kurdish rule. Most Kurds
don’t speak Arabic, especially the younger
In the new Iraqi Constitution, it is referred to as
Kurdistan region. Kurdistan region has all the
trappings of an independent state -- its own
constitution, its own parliament, its own flag, its
own army, its own border patrol, its own national
anthem, its own education system, its own
International airports, even its own stamp inked
into the passports of visitors.
author or news agency,
AFP | Agencies
does not take credit for and is not responsible for the content of news
information on this page