الرئيسية » English Articles » Kurds-Barzani-KCK-Amnesty

Kurds-Barzani-KCK-Amnesty

1. Prime Minister Barzani welcomes extension of PKK ceasefire
2. Kurdistan Region celebrates historic achievement with first crude oil export
3. KCK: Calls for peace, national democratic unity and extends the ceasefire for 45 days
4. Türk criticizes Erdoğan for inaction on Kurdish problem
5. Barzani Insists Kirkuk Part of Kurdish Region
6. Physical Assault Against Ronak Safarzadeh in Prison-Iran
7. Turkey and peace, closer than ever
8. Exporting oil might contribute to solution of Kurdish problem
9. Kurdistan joins ranks of global oil exporters
10. Increase in the Recent Arrest of Kurdish Citizens
11. Amnesty International Report 2009 – Iran—Kurds
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1. Prime Minister Barzani welcomes extension of PKK ceasefire

KRG.org,
02 Jun. 2009

In response to a question addressed to Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani from KRG.org regarding the extension of the PKK ceasefire, the Prime Minister welcomed this step and stated that he was pleased by the PKK’s decision to extend the ceasefire.

“We believe extending the ceasefire serves as an important step towards peace and stability in the area. At the same time, it is in the interest of all that we continue to work towards a solution in a peaceful way, especially after the recent positive steps taken by Turkey.”

Prime Minister Barzani added, “We welcome the PKK’s recognition that there is no military solution to this problem. We hope that the circle of discussion regarding this issue will be expanded in Turkey so that a peaceful, political solution can be identified.”
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2. Kurdistan Region celebrates historic achievement with first crude oil export

KRG.org,
02 Jun. 2009

Erbil, Kurdistan – Iraq (KRG.org) – Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani, and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani joined in celebrating the start of crude oil exports from the Kurdistan Region.

The export of crude oil from the Tawke and Taq Taq fields represents a landmark accomplishment for the Kurdistan Region that will bring in much needed revenues for the people of Iraq.

President Talabani underscored the importance of this day and the necessity of cooperation between Kurds and Arabs. “We must stress tolerance between Arabs and Kurds – we have had a sense of brotherhood and this will remain.” He added, “This is an historic event, not only for the Kurdish people but for all Iraqis.”

President Barzani said, “We have proven in a clear, proper way that we are committed to the Constitution of Iraq. I congratulate everyone on this achievement, which will benefit all Iraqis.” He added, “I wish much success for all the people of Iraq and of the Kurdistan Region; that we may live in prosperity and peace.”

Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani presented an overview of the KRG’s position on oil exports. “We are happy to be part of a federal Iraq within a democratic constitutional framework. When we open these valves today, the Kurdistan Region will be earning hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for all the people of this country.”

The Prime Minister added, “We are determined to use our natural resources in a constructive manner for the benefit of all Iraqi citizens, and to create a better future for ourselves and our neighbours, as well as for future generations. It is important to judge people not by what they say, but by what they do. Five years ago we promised to share our energy resources with Iraq. Today our actions and deeds speak for our words and promises.”

The Speaker of the Kurdistan Parliament Adnan Mufti emphasised the positive impact of this step, and expressed his hope for a bright future and enhanced development throughout Iraq. “It is in the interests of the people of the Kurdistan Region and of Iraq that we build a reputation as the oil industry partner of first choice with private and international oil companies. The Oil and Gas Law passed unanimously by the Kurdistan parliament in August 2007 provides a solid legal framework in which the oil industry can flourish,” he said. The Speaker added, “The passage of Kurdistan’s oil and gas law through parliament was not easy. But in some ways it marked a coming of age for our chamber.”

Dr Ashti Hawrami, the KRG Minister for Natural Resources detailed the value and importance of the KRG’s contribution to Iraq’s oil exports. More than 35 companies from 15 different countries, including Turkey, have entered into contracts. At today’s oil price, the KRG’s efforts will generate 2 billion US dollars in revenue within one year, 5 billion dollars within another year, and a staggering 20 billion dollars in just four years. He added that the contractors have strong incentives to invest quickly, leading to much earlier revenue returns to the people of Iraq. The investors get a gross profit share of around 10 to 12 percent.

Dr Hawrami spoke passionately about the value of market-driven policies in the rest of the Iraq, the cost to the Iraqi people of current and past failures to manage oil resources well, and how decentralization and competition can increase oil revenues for Iraq. The Constitution, he noted, requires the oil resources to be managed in a way that maximizes revenues for all of the people of Iraq. He warned the Parliament in Baghdad that its own independent experts were advising that the contract models in the bid rounds may not satisfy the Constitution’s requirements.

Minister Hawrami emphasised the need for a modern federal oil law and the vital importance of a clear, transparent and objective revenue sharing law to share the oil revenues. He hoped that this day marked the beginning of a new era of cooperation within Iraq and across borders.

Iraqi Vice President Hashemi, Vice President Mahdi, and Deputy Prime Minister Al-Isawi sent their representatives to attend the event, and several members of Iraqi Parliament were present, including many sitting on the Oil and Gas Committee.

The CEOs of the three principle oil firms involved in these fields – Addax, DNO, and Genel Energy – all expressed their happiness regarding the commencement of crude export as well as the development of the Kurdistan Region over the last several years.

Technicians opened the valves from the two oil fields via live television feed, while President Talabani and Barzani came onstage together to thunderous applause. The oil will join the main Iraqi pipeline, which runs to Ceyhan in Turkey where it is then exported internationally.
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3. KCK: Calls for peace, national democratic unity and extends the ceasefire for 45 days

01 June 2009
KCK Executive Council

TO OUR PEOPLE AND PUBLIC OPINION
Kurdish struggle for freedom cannot be eliminated and defeated

After the recent major tragedies that took place in Kurdistan, Kurdish people’s over thirty years of struggle for freedom in Turkey, developing under the leadership of Leader Apo, has gained an important dimension today. It has been proven that the Kurdish struggle for freedom cannot be eliminated and defeated despite all the methods of suppression and violence used by international and regional powers against our people.
Our people’s social resistance gained important achievements against the international concepts of oppression and surrender, which have been implemented against the glorious 1st June Lunge, of which the fifth anniversary is to be marked in great pride. All military assaults, attempted during this period, have been pre-empted. Serious achievements have been recorded as in the examples of Gabbar, Oramar and Zap. Despite many casualties, our people’s social resistance, at many levels, revealed an important political consequence, most recently during the 29th May elections in which the Kurdish people put their own will forward.
Multi-faceted development of the Kurdish Liberation Movement has ripened the terrain for the peaceful and democratic solution of the Kurdish question. In spite of the existence of international powers, which do not want the question to be resolved, the current state of the conjuncture does not pose a serious obstacle before the development of a democratic solution. The Turkish and Kurdish people have the opportunity to settle the matters between themselves if they expose the political will required for the solution.
Our movement have officially announced a process of non-aggression from 13 April to 1st June in order to use the existing positive condition as an important step towards the resolution of the question and to develop the process of democratic resolution. HPG has not been engaged in any planned activities against the powers of Turkish army and obeyed the call for non-aggression, except the condition that required self-defence. Despite HPG’s approach, the Turkish army continued with its systematic operations and conducted air assaults and threw cannon-balls on defensive positions. 35 HPG guerrillas, including rank of commandment, have been martyred during these assaults, and been recorded on history as martyrdom of the peace process.
In addition, comprehensive operations have been conducted on the institutions of civil society of Kurdish people and against DTP on 14th April, the day after the announcement of non-aggression, and extended to KESK on 28th May. The purpose of these operations and assaults is to wipe the Kurdish people out of political arena and prepare the terrain for a new period of conflict. The assaults, which do not recognise any legal criteria or social ethical rules, towards our people, especially the children, who are in a democratic and legitimate resistance, have continued increasing in intensity. 44 Kurdish people have been massacred in Zangirt (Bilge) village of Mardin in order to sabotage the process and blame it on our movement. Kurdish ministers, who are elected by our people, have been forced to appear before a court in a manner of double standard in order to rip off their authority and status.
While these operations continue against our guerrilla and against the representatives of our people in the political area, the process of discussion of a resolution to Kurdish question have gained momentum amongst the public opinion in Turkey and abroad upon the explanations of our Leader and Movement. Turkish President Abdullah Gul has also made explanations in terms of the definition of Kurdish question as the most important issue of Turkey, of which the resolution should not be postponed.
Despite the explanations of the President and those from some political sections, a concrete project has not yet been formulated in terms of the way in which the question is to be resolved. Although the President has said that “there is an agreement amongst the institutions”, military and political operations continue. Why are these operations not terminated, if this agreement is about the political resolution of the question? Are the consequences being taken into account if the purpose is to play a game or stall? The President’s or Prime Minister’s replies to these questions will also clarify the way in which the process will proceed.
Upon considering the positive and negative aspects of the process, Leader Apo called for the continuity of non-aggression, which ends on 1st June, also taking into consideration explanations of the President Abdullah Gul in terms of the resolution of the question, discussions amongst the public, invitations by various intellectuals, democratic parties and civilian society organisations, and the expectations of our people in terms of the resolution of the issue.
Our movement have evaluated the call by our Leader, which was made on the purpose of giving priority the political resolution of the Kurdish question, and giving a chance to the cessation of conflict and construction of a context for peace. It has been decided upon the collective agreement of the organs of our movement that it is favourable to put into practice the call that has been made by our Leader. In this sense, also considering the increasing assaults, our movement have decided upon the continuation of the state of non-action until 15th July. It has been agreed that the process of non-action will be extended to 1st September if positive developments took place towards a resolution. However, this will require the re-evaluation of the situation.
Our attitude is based on our insistence and determination on peaceful and democratic resolution. However, a peaceful and democratic resolution cannot be realised only by our efforts. The past is the sufficient proof of this. This requires the bona fide efforts of all parties concerned. The other party is also required to cease armed assaults in order for the transformation of non-action into cessation of conflict and to permanently silence the weapons. Obviously, it is not possible to get anywhere with partial efforts. Nobody can say that the army will not stop. Just as they were able to cease operations and created the context of non-aggression, they can definitely do the same again. The important thing here is the activation determination and political will.
Summer is the convenient season in which the guerrilla will be most active and perform best to get positive results on their behalf. On the other hand, the reality is that our movement and guerrillas are experiencing their most collectively tidy form and are able to exert more operational power than ever. It is clear that a more comprehensive all-out war can be realised in case this operational power is activated. However, our Leader, movement and people prefer peace, not war. Accurate conception of this reality is the key of utmost importance for the development of the process of resolution.
During this period our military powers will not engage in any action. They will never attack anywhere. However, in case of destructive assaults against themselves, they will use their universal right to self-defence and will reserve the right to retaliate for every assault.
The state of Turkish republic, AKP government and oppositional powers should take responsibility for democratisation and to resolve the most important question of Turkey in this process, and expose their approach in terms of whether the operations will continue or not against the guerrilla who remain inactive. It is because the process is too fragile to tolerate any in-determination or stalling. Every individual, mainly the government, is required to perform their historical responsibilities.
In order to prevent the sabotage of this process and to transform it into a process of permanent resolution, the detention campaigns towards the democratic legal institutions of Kurdish people and their elected representatives should come to an end, and Kurdish people should not be prevented from engaging in politics.
Our guerrilla powers will be forced to engage in conflict if the operations are not terminated in this process. The army and other powers which choose not to oppose it will be responsible for all the casualties that may occur in this process. Our approach to the process is strategic not tactical. We want to mutually silence the weapons and turn it into a permanent process and democratic resolution, not a temporary cessation. In this sense, both parties are responsible for the accurate evaluation of the basis of resolution. Clearly, violent methods cannot get us anywhere. Only the cessation of hostilities, sincere steps and dialogue can make a fundamental resolution possible. At this point, it will be important for the road map that will be presented by Leader Apo in August by taking into account the views of Kurdish institutions to envisage permanent resolution.
The whole public opinion and concerned powers are required to approach the 45 days extended process of non-action with sufficient responsibility, and evaluate it considering the future of Turkish and Kurdish people. The conservative democrat, liberal democrat and left democrat powers in Turkey should carry their historical responsibility for the democratisation of Turkey and take the risk in democratic union against the powers that want to sabotage the process.
The international and regional powers should support and encourage Turkish state and government for a democratic resolution to the Kurdish question and for the development of peace and stability in the Middle East.
All Kurdish people, political powers, patriotic democratic institutions should maintain their national democratic unity and remain alert against any provocations to uphold the honourable struggle for peace and democratic resolution, and play an active role by strengthening their organised power.

01.06. 2009
KCK Executive Council
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4. Türk criticizes Erdoğan for inaction on Kurdish problem

03 June 2009,
TODAY’S ZAMAN ANKARA

The leader of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), Ahmet Türk, has criticized Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for failing to show any signs of a will to solve Turkey’s long-standing Kurdish problem, although he had earlier said that “there is a will for a solution.”
Speaking at his party’s parliamentary group meeting yesterday, Türk said his party has difficulty in understanding some of Erdoğan’s statements, adding that a recent statement of Erdoğan’s in which he said “There is no magic wand in the hands of the government [to solve the Kurdish problem overnight],” was a very “desperate” one.
“This means downplaying the peace demands of the nation. Responding to the citizens’ demands for democracy with a will of reform has nothing to do with magic or superstition. By targeting our party, saying, ‘Using ethnicity politics is betrayal,’ at a time when Turkey seeks peace, has nothing to do with reason. Actually, it is the Justice and Development Party [AK Party] that uses ethnicity politics. It is the esteemed prime minister who talked about ‘one nation, two states’ during a recent speech he made in the Azerbaijani Parliament. Azerbaijan may be ethnically Turkish, but the Turkish nation is not the same as the Azerbaijani nation. The Turkish nation is one peculiar to itself with its 89-year-long history, internal dynamics and diversity,” Türk told the deputies of his party.
Recalling a recent decision of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to extend the duration of the cease-fire until July 15, Türk said a very urgent need of society was an environment where clashes and operations against the PKK end and tears and blood are no longer spilt. He said it has become indispensable in Turkey to open the path before peace and democracy.
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5. Barzani Insists Kirkuk Part of Kurdish Region

2-June-2009
By M. Alihan Hasanoglu
Today’s Zaman

Arbel, Iraq — Iraq’s disputed city of Kirkuk and its oil reserves belong to the Kurdish region, Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani said on Thursday when he met with Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht in Arbil, northern Iraq.
Asked at a joint press conference with De Gucht on Thursday whether the oil fields in Kirkuk belonged to the Kurdish region or the federal government of Iraq, Barzani said: “The Iraqi Constitution states that the oil reserves are the property of all Iraqis. But Kirkuk, together with its oil reserves, is part of Kurdistan,” he said.
Iraqi Kurds run three provinces in northern Iraq and claim the ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk is also part of their semi-autonomous region. Kurdish claims on Kirkuk are a source of tension between the city’s Kurds and non-Kurdish population, made up of Turkmens and Arabs. The Iraqi Constitution envisions a referendum on the status of Kirkuk, but the vote, although planned earlier, has never taken place because pre-referendum requirements, such as a census, could never be carried out. Turkey, which shares close ethnic ties with Turkmens, calls for a compromise among Iraqi groups on the status of Kirkuk. The United States is also cautious about Kurdish claims over Kirkuk, fearing it could lead to clashes that could affect the entirety of Iraq.
Control of Kirkuk and the distribution of oil revenues in northern Iraq are among the key disputed issues between the Kurdish administration and the Baghdad government. De Gucht backed Iraq’s federal system and said problems between the Kurdish region and the central government should be resolved on the basis of principles of the Iraqi Constitution.
Before traveling to Arbil, De Gucht met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and Human Rights Minister Wejdane Mikhail in Baghdad to discuss security and reconstruction six years after the US-led invasion of Iraq.
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6. Physical Assault Against Ronak Safarzadeh in Prison-Iran

June 1, 2009
by parezeran

Student Council of Defense of Human Rights in Kurdistan:
Ms. Ronak Safarzadeh, an imprisoned student and a member of the Cultural and Social Association of Women of Azarmehr in Kurdistan has been subjected to numerous physical assaults by other prison mates. These assaults have taken place under the strict direction of prison authorities who have encouraged these kinds of brutal attacks on Ms. Safarzadeh.
Ms. Safarzadeh has suffered serious injuries as a result of these attacks. Further it has been reported that a number of other political and social prisoners have been subjected to the same types of brutal attacks.
Ms. Safarzadeh has been in pre-trial custody for the past 20 months as a result of her social and women’s rights activities.
It has been reported that about a month ago, both male and female political prisoners I the prison of Sanandaj have been transferred to the section of the prison where very dangerous prisoners are being held. This has been done under the pretence of repairing the wards where political prisoners are being held.
It must be noted that these prisoners (close to 103 of them) had been held in a very small and confined space for three (3) weeks before they were transferred to where the dangerous prisoners are being held.
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7. Turkey and peace, closer than ever

02 June 2009, Tuesday
FATMA DİŞLİ
Today;s Zaman

Ever since President Abdullah Gül pointed out Turkey’s Kurdish problem as the country’s biggest, saying a historic opportunity now at hand to resolve this long-standing issue should not be missed, the government, opposition parties, the military and even the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) have expressed their willingness to contribute to the solution.
There is an environment of general optimism, willingness and hope greater than ever in the country about an eventual solution to this pressing problem, which has been a great obstacle to Turkey’s development over the past decades.
“The recent history of the Kurdish problem is 25 years old, while its more distant history is more than 100 years old. The responsibility of solving this problem, which has become deeper with the delay of its solution, rests on the shoulders of the ‘governing elite’ of today — both the responsibility of solving it and the pride of having solved it,” says Star’s Mustafa Karaalioğlu, who thinks the mission to solve this problem will make happy not only the people living in the territories of this country today but also the future generations. “Can there be a bigger honor than solving a problem which has been handed down from one generation to another as a bad legacy?” he asks. In consideration of this, he believes in the need to put the violent policies of the past aside and act with common sense because the consequences of those policies are already obvious: “To kill more and to be killed more. All those who lose their lives are sons of this nation. It is high time that we stop seeing some issues as a matter of honor. For example, it is a fact that the Turkish military will not lose this war, but, this is of no benefits to the Turkish nation.” Karaalioğlu notes that we can no longer ignore the fact that the Kurdish problem, which has turned to terrorism, is on the way of becoming a more serious problem with the polarization and alienation of the society. He says Turkey is finally taking action to solve a big problem and that the people of this country say, “Enough is enough”; hence, to impede peace efforts from this point on will mean sharing the historic responsibility of spilling the blood which has been spilled so far.
Taraf’s Nabi Yağcı dwells on the importance of silence of weapons so that efforts to maintain peace will yield fruit in consideration of the fact that taking steps for peace becomes difficult when clashes continue. As one of the important steps which will be taken toward peace, he points to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan agreeing to meet with DTP leader Ahmet Türk, abandoning his earlier stance of not meeting with the DTP. “The fact that this meeting has been delayed thus far may turn out to be an advantage. A well-prepared meeting may lead to concrete results, which may speed up peace efforts. President Gül insistently talks about a solution, and the prime minister says the same thing as well. The DTP and Republican People’s Party [CHP] leader Deniz Baykal have also taken steps; It is now the government’s turn to do so. The ball is in Erdoğan’s court,” suggests Yağcı.
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8. Exporting oil might contribute to solution of Kurdish problem

03 June 2009, Wednesday
AYŞE KARABAT ANKARA
Today’s Zaman

The commencement of crude oil exports from northern Iraq via Turkey to the European market on Monday is not only a historic moment for regional economic cooperation, but also, according to experts, can contribute positively to the solution of the long-standing Kurdish problem in Turkey.
The first oil exports of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region will be realized from the Taq Taq and Tawke oil fields. The crude oil will be exported through the Kirkuk-Yumurtalık pipeline to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. Eighty-three percent of the revenue earned from these oil exports will go to the Baghdad administration, while the Kurdish administration will receive 17 percent. Pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) deputy Hasip Kaplan had said the launch of such economic relations certainly will serve to help solve the Kurdish problem.
“We have been saying this for many years. The good economic and social relations between Turkey and the Iraqi Kurds will serve peace efforts. But, on the other hand, we think that the last six to seven years are missing because the contributions of the firms from Turkey to the reconstruction of northern Iraq were not very significant. But now, the sides will understand each other better, and this will serve the solution in Turkey,” he said.
Turkey’s Genel Enerji, a Çukurova Holding subsidiary, is jointly developing the Taq Taq field with oil and gas company Addax Petroleum. Tawke is being developed by Norway’s DNO International.
Şah İsmail Bedirhanoğlu, the chairman of the Southeastern Anatolia Businessmen’s Association, said oil exports will strengthen the economic integration of northern Iraq and Turkey, a move that will contribute to the solution of the Kurdish problem.
“As economic and social integration grows, political relations will improve,” he underlined, noting that for many years several firms in southeastern Anatolia have demanded the opening of a Turkish consulate in Arbil. The official ceremony for the commencement of the oil exports was held in Arbil with the participation of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani.
“We hope that very soon there will be a Turkish consulate in Arbil, which will serve to improve the political and economic relations between Turkey and northern Iraq. When the sides understand each other better, the prejudgments will be removed and this definitely will help to solve the Kurdish problem,” Bedirhanoğlu suggested, adding that economic integration will serve the economic developments of both sides. “The people will benefit from this. Better economic conditions will assist with a solution,” he said.
According to Sedat Laçiner, a senior analyst at the Ankara-based International Strategic Research Organization (ISRO/USAK), exporting northern Iraqi oil via Turkey from now on will be an important factor for the Kurdish solution. “Exporting oil will prepare the groundwork for economic integration, which definitely will contribute to the solution, although it will not ensure a solution,” Laçiner said, adding: “Pipelines might bring international insurances. The ones who are benefiting from these exports from now on will be far away from the movements and acts that are serving the instability of Turkey.”
Laçiner underlined that better economic and political relations between Turkey and northern
Iraq will create difficulties for the existence of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq. “Another aspect of the Kurdish problem is the poverty both in southeastern Anatolia and northern Iraq. The pipelines, oil exports and natural gas exports always geometrically increase the trade volume for other products, too. So we can expect an increase in trade volume, which will decrease the unemployment rate,” Laçiner said.
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9. Kurdistan joins ranks of global oil exporters

NATHAN VANDERKLIPPE
Reuters, AP,
Jun. 02, 2009

Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government inaugurated a new stream of international crude exports yesterday, sparking new optimism that companies that have worked to find oil in the area will be able to eventually reap the rewards of their investment.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, and Kurdish regional President Massoud Barzani, symbolically began the flow by turning a flower-festooned valve on a stage, to a backdrop of strobe lights, a satellite link to the fields and an operatic score.
“It is an important and historic day for Iraq when its people make use of their natural resources properly,” Mr. Talabani said, as the country celebrated the exports from Tawke and Taq Taq, its first new oil fields in nearly three decades.
Tawke is being developed jointly by independent Norwegian oil company DNO International ASA and Turkey’s Genel Enerji, while Swiss-Canadian Addax Petroleum Corp. AXC-T is jointly operating the Taq Taq field with Genel Enerji.
Together, they expect to export 100,000 barrels a day from the country, amid Kurdish hopes that exports could reach one million daily barrels by late 2012.
“This is a significant milestone for any of the oil companies that are active and have had success in Kurdistan, because what it demonstrates is you will be able to monetize your success,” said Paul Atherton chief financial officer of Heritage Oil Corp., which announced a major find in Kurdistan last month.
“It’s removing any political issues that people may have. It’s very great news,” he said from Arbil, where the export ceremony was held.
Drawn by the potential of finding elephant resources in a country that is estimated to hold the world’s third-largest oil reserves, about 25 companies have in recent years signed production-sharing contracts with the Kurdistan Regional Government, allowing them to stake land in the region. A significant number of them are traded or based in Canada, including WesternZagros Resources Ltd., Addax Petroleum Corp., Vast Exploration Inc., Groundstar Resources Ltd. and Niko Resources Ltd. Talisman Energy Inc. has also established an interest.
They have, however, operated in a state of uncertainty, since the Iraq government has disputed the legality of their contracts, making it questionable whether they would be allowed to export oil. (It has recognized contracts belonging to Addax and DNO).
Mr. Talabani issued an assurance yesterday that the remaining contracts would be recognized, Mr. Atherton said. But even that added little certainty to the situation, since Mr. Talabani is outranked in Iraq by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki who, along with the rest of his government, was conspicuously absent from the Kurdish ceremony.
Iraq still has no federal petroleum law, and the exports are being conducted under an informal arrangement between Kurdistan and Iraq’s federal government. That leaves open questions about how the revenue will be divvied up, and how – or whether – Addax and DNO will be paid for the oil they are pumping.
Brendan O’Leary, a political science professor at the University of Pennsylvania who has served as a constitutional adviser to the Kurdish government, said “the default position would be one in which [Kurdistan] would take care of the local company’s interests.”
“The question is, who pays the companies?” he said. “It will be very interesting to see how it is finally resolved.”
How that question is resolved could also affect plans to attract foreign investment to southern Iraq, which is blessed with far more oil than Kurdistan.
Thirty-two companies, including Canada’s Nexen Inc., have lined up to bid on six oil and two gas fields on offer by the Iraqi government.
“The fact that they’re starting the exports really means that, at least for the time-being, they’ve worked out a compromise on how to get this oil out,” said Thomas Wallin, the president of international oil research and consultancy Energy Intelligence.
“This is kind of a test case for the expansion that they want to engender … and an important indicator for other companies that want to invest in the country.”
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Pumping it out
Iraq’s largely autonomous Kurdish region yesterday officially started oil exports from two fields it had developed with foreign oil firms:The fields developed were Tawke and Taq Taq, which both lie in Kurdistan. Norway’s DNO International developed the Tawke field, and Toronto-listed Addax Petroleum Corp. developed Taq Taq. Turkey’s Genel Enerji is a partner in both.
Pumping from Taq Taq started at 40,000 barrels a day (b/d) and from Tawke at 60,000 b/d, although Tawke’s operator says the field’s maximum output is currently 50,000 b/d.
Genel Enerji expects Taq Taq’s output to rise to 70,000 b/d within three months, and for peak production to hit 180,000 b/d within 18 months. DNO says its wells at Tawke have a capacity of about 100,000 b/d, but that it must add more production facilities at the site to utilize this.
Oil from Taq Taq is first loaded into trucks and is transported to where it can be fed into the main Kirkuk pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Oil from Tawke is piped all the way to the main export pipeline.
The Kurdish Regional Government says its total regional production target is to reach 450,000 b/d by 2011 and one million b/d by the end of 2012.
Reuters
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10. Increase in the Recent Arrest of Kurdish Citizens

May 12, 2009
Student Council of Defense of Human Rights in Kurdistan:

In the past few days tens of Kurdish individuals have been arrested by security forces and taken to unknown locations.
In the village of “Salvat Abad” in the city of Sanandaj the security forces attacked the homes of number of residents at 4:00am on May 10th 2009 and arrested number of young men including Mr. Chiya Rahimi(22). They beat him and took him to an unknown location.
In the city of Sanandaj security forces arrested a male named Mr. Farshad Jalali. After searching his home and confiscating his computer and some of his personal belongings he was also taken to an unknown location.
Further in the past few days security forces have arrested number of individuals around the “Kamyaran” area.
Arrests in the City of Kamyaran:
On Wednesday May 6th 2009, six individuals were arrested in the village of “Alek” as well the homes of these individuals were subjected to search. The names of the individuals arrested are as follows: Mr. Keyhan Pirouzi, Mr, Ghahreman Pirouzi, Mr. Saman Pirouzi, Mr. Reybavar Pirouzi, Mr. Fardin Veysi and Mr. Akam Pirmaghani.
Further three individuals in the village of “Nilkuy” were arrested and there is currently no news about their whereabouts.
Further in this city a lawyer named Javad Marabi was arrested at his work place and taken to an unknown location.
Another young individual who was recently arrested is Mr. Khaled Gholami from the village of “Palangan”. Mr. Gholami has travelled to the city of Kamyaran in order to buy medicine for his ill mother. After his arrest security forces searched his home and announced that Mr. Gholami’s younger brother Mr. Saraj Gholami (18) must also turn himself in to the authorities. The mother of these brothers passed away yesterday however the security forces are still insisting that Mr. Saraj Ghoalmi turn himself in even at this difficult time for the family. This situation has caused great concern for the residents of this area.
Further Mr. Verya Naghashbandi was arrested at 8:00am on Monday May 4th 2009 in the city of “Mazkur” and taken to an unknown location. Mr. Naghashbandi is a labour as well as a social activist. He has not had any contact with his family since his arrest.
On Thursday May 7th 2009 security forces arrested three other residents of the village of “Shaygani”. These individuals are: Mr. Moslem Khateri, Mr. Zahed Ghayadi and Mr. Anwar Setami. These individuals were also taken to an unknown location.
Further Mr. Amir Babkari and his wife have also been summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence. Mr. Babkari had spent the past 16 months in prison and had been exiled from “Piranshahr”. Mr. Babkari ran a Kurdish/Farsi newspaper called Reyvan which was suspended by the authorities.
Also last week three students from Mariyvan who were studying in Orumiyeh and Sanandaj universities have been arrested along with a number of other residents from Maryvan.
It must be noted that absolutely no information has been given to the families of the individuals arrested.
There has also been reports of arrests in the city of “Iylam.” A teacher named Mohammad Melki was arrested a week ago by security forces and there is no news about his whereabouts.
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Another Street Merchant Shot to Death in Piranshahr by security forces

May 20, 2009
Student Council of Defense of Human Rights in Kurdistan:

Mr. Abdollah Azizi Asemani, a resident of the city of “Piranshahr” was shot at by security forces a few days and died as a result. His body was turned over to his family two days ago. The security forces subject Kurdish residents to illegal shootings during which many Kurdish citizens have lost their lives. To date, the security forces have not been held responsible for their illegal actions against unarmed citizens.
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Behrouz Javid Tehrani on his 16th day of Hunger Strike

Posted on May 22, 2009 by parezeran
Student Council of Defense of Human Rights in Kurdistan:

According to news received from Mr. Behrouz Javid Tehrani’s family, Mr. Tehrani is currently on his 16th day of hunger strike.
Mr. Tehrani was forcefully transferred to Section 1 of the Gohardasht Prison (torture chambers) also known as “dark hole” or “the end of the road” more than 2 weeks ago. While in Section 1 of the prison he has been subjected to brutal torture, including being beaten by batons while blindfolded and handcuffed.
According to his family Mr. Tehrani is in an extremely poor mental and physical state.
Mr. Tehrani is a pro-democracy activist who was originally arrested during the July 9th 1999 (18 Tir) pro-democracy student demonstrations, and has spent most of the last decade in Islamic Regime prisons. For the past four (4) years Mr. Tehrani has been imprisoned in the infamous Gohardasht Prison, which is known for housing extremely dangerous criminals and for its terrible treatment of political prisoners.
It must be noted that even behind bars Mr. Tehrani has continued his pro-democracy activities and this is one of the reasons behind the inhumane treatment of Mr. Tehrani by Regime Officials.
Student Council of Defense of Human Rights in Kurdistan condemns the inhumane treatment of Mr. Tehrani and urges all human rights organizations and international entities to voice their concern over the torture and imprisonment of Mr. Tehrani in Gohardasht Prison.
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11. Amnesty International Report 2009 – Iran—Kurds

The authorities maintained tight restrictions on freedom of expression, association and assembly. They cracked down on civil society activists, including women’s rights and other human rights defenders and minority rights advocates. Activists were arrested, detained and prosecuted, often in unfair trials, banned from travelling abroad, and had their meetings disrupted. Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees were common and committed with impunity. Sentences of flogging and amputation were reported. At least 346 people were known to have been executed, but the actual number was probably higher. Two men were executed by stoning. Those executed included eight juvenile offenders.

Discrimination – repression of minorities – Kurds

Kurds
Members of the armed group, Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan, known by its Kurdish acronym PJAK, continued to attack Iranian forces. Many Kurds who were detained faced charges of membership or support of PJAK or other groups. Some, like teacher Farzad Kamangar, who denied the charge and was tortured, were sentenced to death following unfair trials.
Proponents of greater recognition of the Kurdish language and cultural and other rights were arrested and imprisoned after unfair trials.
The authorities failed to take adequate steps to address the longstanding problem of protecting women from violence within the family, despite a continuing high incidence of cases in which women set themselves alight, often fatally, apparently because they were subject to such violence.
More than 50 prisoners went on hunger strike between August and October to protest against the use of the death penalty on Kurdish political prisoners and to demand respect for the civil rights of Kurdish prisoners.
Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand, founder and Chair of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan, detained since July 2007, was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment in May following conviction after an unfair trial of “propaganda against the system” and “acting against state security by establishing the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan”. An appeal court overturned the one-year sentence for “propaganda against the system” and confirmed the 10-year sentence. He was denied visits by his family and lawyer for a prolonged period, and medical treatment that he required was delayed