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 150 Articles
Jackson Richman is an editor at The National Discourse. His work has also been featured in The Weekly Standard, The Daily Caller, The Washington Examiner, Tablet, The Daily Signal, The College Fix, The Huffington Post, The Forward, and other outlets. He has interviewed prominent personalities such as, but not limited to, 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, University of Chicago president Robert Zimmer, and British historian and intellectual Niall Ferguson.


  1. I had a feeling this would happen to Kurdistan following the Referendum, I worry now the Baghdad government might make a push to bring the region back under Iraqi rule and spur another conflict in its wake.

    • You do not know what’s going on in Kurdistan. Messoud barzani took over the parliament because these two families are thief ! You knew this before ???? Of course no , you know why ? I know. Because America is always listening to them and never say a good word for us. And I will say we will never ever give it up and tomorrow we will revolute againt Messoud Barzani and Mam Jalal. You know why ?? No, i know that you do not want to understand ! I think The america should not say a good word for the messoud barzani. Because the barzani is a bad thief ! We will kill Barzani as soon as possible !

      • I apologize for not knowing in full what is going on in Kurdistan, and also on behalf of my country for ignoring the situation and allowing for this to continue.

  2. We will never ever give it up! because this government is bullshit and none. It was not a surprise for me when i heard that Shaswar Abdulwahid Qadir has been arrested because I knew it before. But Dear Shaswar I will tell you something , something that you have to listen to me ” I love you” and I will never ever give it up. So, tomorrow we will revolute because we want a NEW KURDISTAN.

  3. believe me USA and UK are scumbags with Shaswar Qadir because they promised Shaswar to supporting him and his movement , but Barzani and Tallabani Millitias were arrested him and USA didn’t say anything about it.