IRAQ: Protests intensify in Sulaymaniyah, three Gorran MPs arrested

SULAYMANIYAH, Iraq – Protests in the Kurdish Region of Iraq (KRI) against corruption, the political leadership, the lack of transparency, high unemployment rate, unpaid salaries, and lack of public services are continuing.

On Friday, protests resumed in Rania, Halabja, Kalar, and Chamchamal in Sulaymaniyah Province. Hundreds of people demonstrated in front of the Sulaymaniyah Province building. Protesters tried to close the road in front of the Province building, but riot police intervened and used tear gas canisters to disperse them. The Iraqi News Agency reported the imposition of a curfew in the areas of the cities of Sulaymaniyah, Halabja, Rabrin and Garmian.

Meanwhile, security authorities in Sulaymaniyah arrested the three former KRI parliamentarians of the Change Movement (Gorran) Shergo Hama Amin, Piman Ezzedine, and Abdullah Mala Nori on charges of inciting citizens to organize anti-government protests, after the MPs accused authorities of financial corruption.

According to the High Commission for Human Rights in Iraq, the death toll of the Sulaymaniyah protests is eight with 54 wounded within a week.