Kurdish Opposition Leader Arrested

By Jackson Richman

This story has been updated with reaction by the State Department.

Amid protests by Kurdish citizens, outraged by years of unpaid public sector salaries and austerity, opposition leader Shaswar Qadir of the New Generation party was arrested on Tuesday, a source on the ground told The National Discourse.

On Monday, demonstrators set fire to four offices of political parties near the city of Sulaimaniyah. The Kurdish region has undergone upheaval since the central government in Baghdad imposed tough measures in light of an independence referendum on Sept. 25 and Kurds voted overwhelmingly to secede, in which Iraqi and Iranian forces seized the Kurdish capital, Kirkuk.

Last March, Discourse chairman Cam Erickson was in Kurdistan and filmed a documentary.

‎”We are aware of the demonstrations and reports of violence in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region,” a State Department spokesperson told The Discourse. “We are monitoring the situation and urge restraint.”
The spokesperson added, “We defer to the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government and the Government of Iraq for further comment.‎”

 

The Discourse acquired the footage below from Tuesday’s protests.

About Jackson Richman 52 Articles
Jackson Richman is an editor and columnist at The National Discourse. His work has also been featured in The Weekly Standard, The Daily Caller, The Washington Examiner, Red Alert Politics, The Daily Signal, The College Fix, The Huffington Post, The Forward, New Voices Magazine, and other outlets. He has interviewed prominent personalities such as Pulitzer Prize winners Thomas Friedman and Charles Krauthammer, Fox News contributor Tucker Carlson, former State Department adviser David Makovsky, prominent American rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Iowa representative Steve King, FCC chairman Ajit Pai, Nebraska senator Ben Sasse, comedian Adam Carolla, and University of Chicago president Robert Zimmer.