Kurdish independent presidential candidate brutally attacked


An independent presidential candidate was attacked in Downtown Erbil on Friday in Southern Kurdistan.

Dr. Kamal Said Qadir tweeted, @kamalsaidqadir “A peaceful gathering will be held today at 5 pm in [the] center of Erbil-Kurdistan region to discuss the imposed Barzani dictatorship”. He posted the same message on his Facebook asking for people to join him in a peaceful-protest against the current President’s two-year extension of term, which was passed by the Kurdish parliament.

Dr. Kamal Said Qadir is a Kurdish Human rights activist, and has taught at various academic institutions in Southern Kurdistan, including Salahaddin University. He is known for his bold statements against the two ruling parties, and was sentenced to 30-years in prison on the account of defamation in 2005. Both Amnesty International and Reporters without Borders condemned the sentence. He was later released in 2006 because of a special envoy of the Austrian Foreign Ministry, and this was due to the fact that Dr. Kamal Qadir held Austrian citizenship.

The 55-year-old candidate was left with one anterior dislocated shoulder, and brought to ER by local police. According to a doctor, who revealed to Alliance For Kurdish Rights anonymously, Dr. Kamal Qadir showed no signs of irritability, or deliriousness. He was left with 3 cm wound to his right eye and was covered in bruises all over his body.

Erbil Police deny claims that “agents” who sought to teach him a lesson attacked him, instead the chief of police Abdulkhaliq Talaat announced to media agencies that the attack was civilian-led because “He came to the place drunk. There were some Syrian [Kurdish] egg-sellers and tomato-sellers there and people attacked him”. He went on to say “Police were not around when he was attacked. It is true that there are police [patrols] downtown, but they were away from that area. We later took him to hospital”.

However, Rojawa Hospital doctors have confirmed that Dr. Kamal Qadir was not drunk nor did he show any signs that he was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. On the contrary, he was brought water to break his fast. Furthermore, activists on Social Media claim that the attack was not merely civilian-led but as a direct result of Dr. Kamal Qadir’s political views.