Day 3 of Demonstration: The face of stability, security, and democracy is quickly eroding

Today the situation here is escalating. The PUK and KDP Peshmerga were out on the streets of Suleimaniya in full force, allegedly to protect the KDP headquarters. Last night Nawshirwan Mustafa, the leader of the Gorran list, demanded that these military forces return to Hawler. Meanwhile the KDP said that Dr. Barham Salih, the KRG prime minister, ordered the military to the streets to protect the KDP headquarters.

CPTers walked up to the city square where many students from the university were holding a demonstration. On the way to the bazaar, CPTers saw nine humvees loaded with big weapons drive up Salim St. towards the bazaar. About eight or nine blocks from the bazaar, Salim St. was closed even to pedestrians. We zigzagged up to the entrance of the bazaar and we tried to make our way to the city center. We passed by a truck with a water cannon positioned in the middle of the street ready to fire in any direction.

Eventually, we were headed off by hundreds of Asaish (secret police) and maybe Peshmerga (military). Even the local guide did not know who was who. Later we learned that these guys were expecting more problems at the KDP headquarters. The parents of the 14-year-old boy [who was shot] were so distraught that they and their family members were threatening to go to the KDP headquarters with guns to express their outrage at the murder of their only child. There were rumors that other people were threatening to torch the KDP headquarters.

By the time we made it to the city center, the students had finished their demonstration. It seems they had two hours there without any major incident.

After a while, we headed over to the Rizgari bus station to take a bus home. Then the shooting began. The bus was re-routed and more armed soldiers were heading up Salim St in fast moving vehicles. We heard shooting even close to our house but there are no reports yet about any shooting other than in the area of the KDP headquarters.

Reports on twitter are now saying that twelve people are injured including three journalists. Some are bullet wounds and two Asaish have been injured by rocks. There are also reports that the Special Forces military, some of whom are PUK and some KDP Peshmerga are fighting with each other because some of them are refusing to fire at the demonstrators.…

The sad issue here is that the KRG has put on a face of stability, security, and democracy. They have invited the world to come and explore the wonders of Iraqi Kurdistan. They have enticed investors from all over the world to come here. The face of stability, security, and democracy is quickly eroding as the ruling parties have insisted on answering the calls for justice with firepower, which seems to get more and more lethal each day.