As an economic, political and social crisis has been affecting Iraqi Kurdistan, it seems to have become a common practice to detain people who have been protesting against government policies or who are simply in opposition to the government.
Recently, three women who had returned from Sinjar (Shengal) – where they had participated in commemorative events on the anniversary of the ‘farman’ by the Islamic State on the Yazidi people – were detained in Erbil (Hewlêr) by the Asayish (security forces) of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
While Xewla Mihemed Hesen and Seyran Ehmed Hesen were released after 33 days, no word has been heard from Ciwana Ebdulbaqî for 53 days.
Necbir Efrîn, a member of the Free Women’s Movement (RJAK), told MA that Ebdulbaqi could speak only once with her family.
“There has been no face to face contact with her till now,” she said. “The lawyers that we’ve sent have been rejected. They’re trying to extend the detention time even further. We’ve made various attempts to reach Ebdulbaqi, but were thwarted each time by different methods.”
Efrîn said that attempts were made to detach the women from RJAK through intimidation. “They’re trying to stop our operations entirely,” she said. “They start threatening women when they’re detained and force them to stay home.”
Efrîn also drew attention to the similarities between the policies of the administrations of Iraqi Kurdistan and Turkey.
“Special war tactics are in place,” she said. “There are numerous female politicians and journalists who are in custody. Here, they have the same attitude towards detainees and prisoners with the Turkish state. The courts can rule without legal grounds.”
Noting that there were serious violations of the rights of people in custody, she said that the KDP held people in detention centres for months before they were heard in court.