University students in Iraq’s Federated Kurdistan Region have been protesting against the government since 21 November, over the suspension of monthly bursary payments and the government’s failure to provide the most basic services on campuses, such as drinking water.
Tens of thousands of students from various universities took to the streets to attend peaceful demonstrations all over the region in previous weeks.
After a short break the protests have resumed, and students from Koya, Halabja, Ranparin and Qaladze Universities gathered outside the university buildings once again this morning (5 December) chanting, “We demand our rights!” Roj News reports.
So far, the Kurdistan Regional Government has not responded to the students’ demands despite the continuing protests. Two weeks ago, students rose up across South Kurdistan, but the government responded with police violence. Many students have been held in custody since then, and there has been no word from them.
Payments of student allowances have been suspended for several years now in Iraqi Kurdistan, after the region’s debt crisis began in 2014. Students living in dormitories are meant to be paid 100,000 dinars, or roughly 61 euros a month, while those living at home should get 40,000 dinars, or 24.5 euros.