• Campaigns

Iraq/Iraqi Kurdistan:Incommunicado detention/fear of torture/forcible expulsion/fear of forcible return

, Index number: MDE 14/008/2000

Amnesty fears detenetion/torture /forcible expulsion and the forcible return of Mu‘ayad Ahmad, Amjad Ghafur, Abdullah Mahmud, ‘Ammar Sharif, Yusuf Mohammad - Iraqi Workers Communist Party (IWCP) executive committee members,Azad Ahmad, Awara Majid, Najal, Taha Baha al-Din, Kawa ‘Abdullah, Amanj ‘Othman - IWCP members,Nasik Ahmad (f), head of the Independent Women's Organisation (IWO), Arsh Baqri, Iranian national and many others. Omid Nikbin, Sadiq Nikbin (Iranian nationals) have been killed. Scores of people, many of them women, have been arrested in the part of Iraqi Kurdistan controlled by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). Their whereabouts are now unknown, and Amnesty International fears they may be tortured or ill-treated. Several are reportedly injured and denied medical attention.

PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 14/08/00
UA 219/00 Incommunicado detention/fear of torture/
forcible expulsion/fear of forcible return 19 July 2000
IRAQ/IRAQI KURDISTAN
Mu‘ayad Ahmad, Amjad Ghafur, ‘Abdullah Mahmud, Ammar Sharif, Yusuf Mohammad
- Iraqi Workers Communist Party (IWCP) executive committee members
Azad Ahmad, Awara Majid, Najal, Taha Baha al-Din, Kawa ‘Abdullah, Amanj ‘Othman
- IWCP members
Nasik Ahmad (f), head of the Independent Women’s Organisation (IWO)
Arsh Baqri, Iranian national
And many others
Killed:Omid Nikbin, Sadiq Nikbin (Iranian nationals)
Scores of people, many of them women, have been arrested in the part of Iraqi
Kurdistan controlled by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). Their
whereabouts are now unknown, and Amnesty International fears they may be
tortured or ill-treated. Several are reportedly injured and being denied medical
attention.
Many of those arrested are members or supporters of the opposition Iraqi Workers’
Communist Party (IWCP) and the Independent Women’s Organization (IWO), who
were protesting against alleged persecution by the PUK. In June the PUK
reportedly cut off the electricity and water supplies to both organisations’
offices, and ordered them to stop all political activities and leave the
PUK-controlled area of Iraqi Kurdistan.
On 13 July, demonstrators protesting against these measures were arrested when
they attempted to march on the Ministry of Interior in the capital of the
PUK-controlled area, Sulaimaniya. There were more arrests in the city of Rania,
where up to 30 ICWP members and supporters are said to be held incommunicado.
The next day four IWCP members, Abdul Basit Muhsin, Mohammad Mustafa, Ibrahim
Mohammad Rostam and Hawri Latif, were killed, reportedly when their car came
under fire from PUK security forces. Two Iranian nationals, Omid Nikbin and
Sadiq Nikbin, members of the Iranian Workers’ Communist Party, were killed
by the PUK that day. The circumstances of their deaths are not clear, but Amnesty
International fears they may have been victims of extrajudicial execution.
Another Iranian national, Arsh Baqri was reportedly injured and is now in PUK
custody. Amnesty International fears that he risks being forcibly returned
to Iran, where he would face serious human rights violations.
Three leading IWCP members have been held hostage at the PUK headquarters in
Sulaimaniya since 16 July, apparently to put pressure on all the other IWCP
members to leave the PUK-controlled area. Tahar Hassan, Saman Karim and Fu‘ad
Sadiq had reportedly gone to negotiate with the PUK.
On 19 July 17 members of the IWCP executive committee, their families and scores
of other IWCP members were reportedly expelled from their homes in Sulaimaniya.
They were reportedly on their way to the city of Arbil, in the part of Iraqi
2
Kurdistan controlled by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). These expulsions
were reportedly intended to stop all political activity by the IWCP.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Since the end of the Gulf War in 1991 Iraqi Kurdistan has been under the control
of the two main Kurdish political parties, the KDP and the PUK, who control
two distinct areas and have established their own “governments”.
Until now, political opposition has been tolerated. The IWCP was formed in
1993 from a merger of four small communist groups. Its activities remained
limited, under pressure from both the KDP and the PUK.
Three IWCP members were arrested in February 2000 in Sulaimaniya, reportedly
for publicly accusing the PUK of rigging local elections and criticising
security measures taken during the elections. The PUK said that the three had
been arrested for “creating disturbances and encouraging others to take part
in disturbances, and illegally collecting money and forming committees and
organizations to collect money without proper procedures and permission”. All
three were released without charge in April 2000.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail
letters in or your own language:
- asking to be told the names and places of detention of all those arrested
in connection with anti-PUK demonstrations since 13 July;
- seeking assurances that they are being treated humanely and have regular
access to lawyers of their own choosing, their families and any medical care
they may require;
- urging that they be immediately released if they were arrested solely for
their peaceful political activities;
- urging a full investigation into the killings of ‘Abdul Basit Muhsin, Mohammad
Mustafa, Ibrahim Mohammad Rostam, Hawri Latif, Omid Nikbin and Sadiq Nikbin,
and that anyone found responsible be brought to justice;
- calling for all expulsions of IWCP members, supporters and their families
to be stopped, and for all those expelled to be allowed to return to their
homes;
- urging that no one who would be at risk of human rights violations be forcibly
returned to Iran or to areas under Iraqi government control.
APPEALS TO:
Jalal Talabani
President
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)
Sulaimaniya
Kurdistan
Iraq
Telegrams: President, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Kurdistan, Iraq
Salutation: Dear Mr Talabani
Jalal Talabani
c/o PUK United Kingdom
First Floor, 5 Glasshouse Walk,
Vauxhall
London SE11 5ES
UK
Faxes: + 44 171 8400630
3
Salutation:Dear Mr Talabani
Jalal Talabani
c/o PUK USA
444N. Capitol Street, NW, Suite 837
Washington D. C.
USA
Faxes: + 1 202 6372723
Salutation:Dear Mr Talabani
COPIES TO: Office of the PUK, if there is one in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 30 August 2000.

Choose a language to view report