By Rojhat Özcelik

The Kurdish government accuses Haydar Shesho of setting up an “illegitimate militia” (Shia militia), which is nothing else than a pretext. Fact is that Shia militias were not even deployed in Shingal. The HPS involvement in the PMU (Popular Mobilization Units initiated by Baghdad) was a legal procedure that allowed the Iraqi government to arm the HPS without facing any juridical problems.

There is no legal foundation for the Kurdish government´s actions since Shingal is not part of its territory or area of responsibility. According to the Iraqi constitution, Shingal region is part of Baghdad´s responsibility area. And the HPS did not operate in KRG territory. Shesho has therefore not breaken any laws. His arrest is politically motivated.

From the beginning of ISIS´ invasion, Shesho refused to show deference to the ruling KDP that has lost Ezidis´ trust as its Peshmerga troops fled the region. The KDP tries to regain its power in that area by silencing its political opponents, including Ezidi demonstrators and activists that have been recently arrested by KDP security forces for rallying for international protection or waving the Ezidi resistance flag.