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Response to JonLP24 (Reply #42)

Sun Mar 8, 2015, 08:31 PM

43. Found the articles I was looking for

The report, "Iraq: Still paying a high price after a decade of abuses", exposes a long chronology of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees committed by Iraqi security forces, as well as by foreign troops, in the wake of the US-led 2003 invasion.

One Iraqi woman, speaking on condition of anonymity, said her nephew was first detained when he was just 18. Held under the infamous Article Four which gives the government the ability to arrest anyone "suspected" of terrorism, he was charged with terrorism. She told, in detail, of how her nephew was treated:

"They beat him with metal pipes, used harsh curse words and swore against his sect and his Allah (because he is Sunni) and why God was not helping him, and that they would bring up the prisoners' mothers and sisters to rape them," she explained to Al Jazeera. "Then they used electricity to burn different places of his body. They took all his cloths off in winter and left them naked out in the yard to freeze."

Her nephew, who was released after four years imprisonment after the Iraqi appeals court deemed him innocent, was then arrested 10 days after his release, again under Article 4. This law gives the government of Prime Minister Maliki broad license to detain Iraqis. Article four and other laws provide the government the ability to impose the death penalty for nearly 50 crimes, including terrorism, kidnapping, and murder, but also for offenses such as damage to public property.


The Shia dominated Iraq government, especially regarding Al-Maliki was well-known for using anti-terrorism laws against the Sunni population. So many elected Sunni officials had their homes raided by Iraqi military, one was killed during these home invasions. The Kurds (also oppressed by Iraq's government) helped the highest elected Sunni official escape a political prostitution (where he got the death penalty in a trial that took place without him) which the government is still fuming about.


Further, although it may seem that Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan region, cut a deal with Sunni Arab officials and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan against Maliki, the Kurds are beginning to see a potential nightmare; a border controlled not just by ISIS but Baathist military officers and fueled by a strong populist sentiment. Saddam Hussein’s daughter, Raghdad, applauded the Mosul attack as “victories of my father’s fighters and my uncle Izzat al-Douri.” According to a report in The Voice of Kurdistan (Sawt Kurdistan) and local sources, al-Douri is reported to have visited Mosul governorate headquarters on June 12 after having been in hiding by “a country in the region.” Former Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, who fled Iraq in December 2011 and briefly took refuge in the Kurdistan Region before gaining Ankara’s support, also rejoiced after the ISIS takeover of Mosul, referring to it as a revolution of the oppressed, downtrodden and marginalized people in Mosul.

Indeed, the KRG has delicately balanced its relations with Sunni Arab communities thus far and was not directly targeted in the Mosul attack. In fact since 2005 Barzani has developed or strengthened his ties to moderate Sunni Arab leaders, mainly as part of an anti-Maliki alliance and for commercial purposes as demonstrated by his close ties with Mosul Gov. Atheel al-Nujaifi. The KRG also has welcomed the Iraqi military officers that fled Mosul into the Kurdistan Region, as well as hundreds of thousands of displaced families from Mosul.

Still, whether these arrangements can translate into hard political agreements between the KRG and Sunni Arab leaders over land and oil is highly questionable, at least in the short term. Despite shared Sunni affiliations Kurds and Iraqi Sunni Arabs have deep political differences and distrust, particularly regarding the Kurdish nationalist agenda. For instance, in addition to criticizing the KRG’s oil policy Sunni Arab communities seek to terminate the de-Baathification law and postpone Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution — both of which are essential Kurdish political claims.

Further, Barzani’s ties to Sunni Arab leaders and Erdogan may stabilize communal relations and enhance business opportunities, but they have to be measured alongside the Kurdistan Region’s other influential neighbor — Iran. While Tehran’s influence extends throughout the Kurdistan Region it is particularly salient in Suleymaniya and among the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Gorran Movement. These groups are not only wary of tying a Kurdish umbilical cord to Ankara, but they have their own commercial, political and security agreements with Tehran that requires support for Baghdad, even tacitly. This influence may also affect how far the Kurds can press ahead with Kirkuk. The PUK governor, Najmaldin Kerim, has not only won overwhelming support in Kirkuk but has successfully balanced Kurdish demands with Baghdad, and Kurdish, Arab and Turcoman communities in the city.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/06/kurds-isis-mosul-maliki-krg-gains-leverage.html#ixzz3T2aR1VQW

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JonLP24 Mar 2015 #42
LineLineNew Reply Found the articles I was looking for
JonLP24 Mar 2015 #43
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