PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 14/08/00
UA 219/00 Incommunicado detention/fear of torture/
forcible expulsion/fear of forcible return 19 July 2000
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
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