Masoud Barzani 'concerned' about verbal attack on minority groups in Kurdistan Region
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Masoud Barzani, the President of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), published a statement on Sunday expressing his concern regarding recent verbal abuse against ethnic and religious components in the Kurdistan Region.
“The recent wave of verbal attacks on religious and ethnic minorities in the Kurdistan Region is the cause of upmost concern,” Barzani said in the statement.
“I would like to confirm that we will continue supporting the minorities – as they are an integral part of the Kurdish nation – with all their rights reserved.”
The statement followed complaints in the past days from lawmakers in the Kurdistan Parliament against the quota of seats religious and ethnic minorities receive under the pretext certain political blocs enjoy more rights.
Zyaa Petrous, Head of the Independent Human Rights Commission in the Kurdistan Region (IHRCKR), also spoke out against the verbal assault targeting minorities inside the parliament.
“We do not believe that the minorities’ quota seats should be compromised every time there is a political dispute or struggle,” Petrous was quoted as saying in a statement by the IHRCKR.
“The law dictates 11 seats inside the Kurdistan Region’s parliament as a quota to the religious and ethnic minorities,” he continued. “Any appeals against that is considered a threatening feat against the rights of the different components in the region no matter what the political dispute or struggle is.”
Ano Jawher, the Kurdistan Region’s Minister of Transport and Communications, described the incident as “an unjustified attack” in a press conference on Sunday. Jawher said every individual inside and outside the Kurdistan parliament, minority or not, is free to decide and vote according to their beliefs.
“We, as a minority, have equal rights, equal privileges in the Kurdistan Region and no one has the right to speak for us except for the minorities themselves,” he added.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany