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Watchdog condemns PUK ‘campaign’ against pro-PKK activists

By Rudaw 12/1/2019
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A local media watchdog condemned recent raids by security forces of the Patriotic Union Kurdistan (PUK) on pro-PKK activists in Sulaimani province. The operations occurred amid the party’s attempt to reconcile with Turkey and lift a flight ban on the province’s airport.

“Metro Center considers that the restrictions on civil activities are a failed attempt by security forces to silence people,” read a statement from the Metro Center for the Defense of Journalists on Saturday.

The PUK Asayesh forces conducted a series of raids on Tavgari Azadi (Freedom Movement) members in Sulaimani who have enjoyed a freedom to operate in the province that they do not have in Erbil and Duhok due to their tensions with the dominant Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) there.

Turkey imposed a flight ban on Sulaimani International Airport, accusing the PUK of supporting the PKK. The ban has caused millions of dollars in damages

Tavgari Azadi accused the PUK of raiding their offices in a bid to appease Turkey and get the flight ban lifted. 

PUK media reported the ban will be lifted within two weeks, saying Iraqi President Barham Salih raised the issued during his recent trip to Ankara.  

The airport says it has not received any official confirmation to confirm the report. 

The latest Asayesh raid was on Friday when they arrested 52 pro-PKK activists in connection with the commemoration of the assassination of PKK founders. Five were later released. The others have begun a hunger strike behind bars, according to Firat News Agency (ANF). Two of the people detained are journalists. 

The Asayesh closed Salim Cinema in Sulaimani last week ahead of a scheduled screening of ‘My Whole Life Was a Struggle’ about Sakine Cansiz who was a founding PKK member and was assassinated along with two others in Paris on January 9, 2013.

The Asayesh arrested nine Tavgari Azadi members and shut their office in Garmiyan earlier this week.

Metro Center is “watching the campaigns with concerns,” it stated. 


Hama | 12/1/2019
Why not condemn PKK's MUCH larger crackdown against all non-PKK Kurds in Syria? Until then, their opinion is irrelevant, because they are hypocrites who turn a blind eye to PKK atrocities, yet complain when some PKK criminals who don't follow the local laws are arrested by PUK. PKK will lie and claim KRG is only banning PKK because of Turkey, because they want to lie and hide their own behavior towards KRG. There are things PKK doesn't wanna talk about. We ban them because- 1) PKK has banend ALL other Kurdish parties in Rojava, so why on EARTH should we allow them? Treat PKK as PKK treats others. 2) PKK is acting as an agent for Iran and Baghdad to undermine KRG's authority over Iraqi Kurdistan. Baghdad directly pays PKK's sallaries in Shingal and let PKK stay when they forced peshmerga out because PKK traitors are allied with Iran and Arabs. 3) On TOP of this we see all the problems that PKK have created by declaring war on Turkey on OUR soil and WITHOUT permission from KRG. Dozens KILLED, hundreds of villages abandoned, thousands losing their jobs, airport closed down, Kurds unable to visit their family members, tourists not able to visit and so much more because PKK threaten KRG's security and stability. Ban them everywhere. PKK does not care about Kurds. Their only care about their totalitarian socialist cult ideology.
Sully | 12/1/2019
PUK sold out Kerkuk in the most treasonous way, therefore closing other kurdish party offices, or banning movies, depicting kurdish heroes doesn't surprise me one bit! Funny how their party's slogan is "Peace, Human rights, Democracy and Self determination". Peace as long as they are left alone to steal. Torture, shooting civilians, kidnapping and murder is how much they believe in Human rights. Democracy, sure! Forget the nepotism or the abuse of power by PUK members. Just take a close look election time, that will show you how much they belive in democracy. Lastly, the PUK have shown the people of kurdistan time after time how much they believe in self determination. That is when some of them are not busy selling or undermining other kurdish parties fighting for freedom.
Gunrash | 12/1/2019
After Baghdad and Iran, PUK is now also bending over for Turkey. They should change their name to JUK. Shameless and blatant Jashery.
Muraz Adzhoev | 12/1/2019
«Metro Center” would better shut up, if has no idea of what PKK is and what is its activities in Greater Kurdistan regions in fact.

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