Kurdistan Region pay protests continue

Shkoi Kurdistan-

Kurdistan protests over pay cuts and delay in the towns and cities still continue. The first wave of the protest stormed last week from Zaxo town in Duhok province. Then, a municipality building in the Garmiyan administration town of Kalar was set ablaze on Saturday, amid escalating protests by Kurdistan Region civil servants and their supporters over salaries.

Protesters took to streets across Sulaimani provinces demanding their months-delayed civil sector pay from the government and denouncing a recently introduced wave of pay cuts by the government to cope with the economic crisis gripping the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. 

Saturday’s protests had been planned for over the past week by the opposition New Generation party, who had called on their supporters to take part.

In the Garmiyan administration city of Kalar, 100 kilometers from the city of Sulaimani, some protesters stormed the municipality building then set it on fire. 

In Sulaimani city, more than 2,000 protesters gathered in the landmark Azadi Park, joined by party leader Shaswar Abdulwahid.

In his speech, Abdulwahid accused successive Kurdistan Region governments as well as the ruling KDP and PUK parties of failing to “improve lives in this nation”. 

The New Generation leader described the protests as a “white [unarmed] revolution” and vowed that they would continue.

“It is you who can change this country,” he told protesters.

Soon after concluding his speech, the protests increased from other places throughout Sulaimani Province.

As protests and anger among people swirl, last night shooting and violence erupted after the protests launched in Halabja province.

According to Metro center for journalists rights, some 17 journalists and activists have been arrested in Duhok province ruled by KDP and many others have been arrested over the protests by the security forces in Sulaimany province including teachers, journalists, activists and civil protesters.

The Kurdistan Regional government decided to cut some 21 percent of the government employees’ salary as it faces financial crisis over the influence of coronavirus and corruption.

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