Three Ezidi actvists have recently fled from Kurdistan due to death threats they have received from government circles. Because of their activities, the poet Hadji Keyrani, singer Dakhil Osman and former Rudaw reporter Berekat Isa from Shingal received death threats from circles of the ruling Kurdistan Democrativ Party (KDP), the three announced.

Prior to that, an intense dispute between Ezidis and the Kurdish government had flared up over a crackdown on demonstrators and their arrests, the prohibition to wave the Ezidi resistance flag and the recent arrest of an Ezidi activist.

The three prominent Ezidis frequently criticized the Kurdish authorities´ approach to dealing with Ezidi demonstrators and thus made themselves a target for death threats. The KDP official Wahid Bakuzi who currently commands a Peshmerga unit in Shingal became furious about that, asking why people let those flee the country who he would have liked to see dead, Berekat Isa said. In a video message, Haji Keyrani claimed to have been threatened `to get killed like a dog´.

From left to right: Haji Keyrani, Dakhil Osman, Isa Berekat
From left to right: Haji Keyrani, Dakhil Osman, Isa Berekat

Two of the actvists are meanwhile in Germany, the third has fled to Turkey. The incident is expected to further harden the fronts between Ezidis and the Kurdish government. Ezidis loose their strongest voices in Kurdistan with the suppression of Dakhil Osman, Haji Keyrani and Berekat Isa.

The Kurdish government has neither spoken on the previous nor the present case. It has to accept repeated criticism by Ezidis after its Peshmerga troops fled from Shingal on August 3, 2014 as ISIS invaded the region. Instead of pouring oil on troubled waters, the government tries to silence Ezidis with violence, death threats and intimidation.

It is not the first time that violence is being used against the government´s critics. Even assasinations have been carried out, for example on the investigative journalist Kawa Germiyani who was gunned down outside his home by unknown assailants after he had published several reports on the corruption within the ranks of the Kurdish government before. The 23 year old Sardasht Osman, a journalist who had criticized Kurdistan´s ruling parties was first kidnapped and then later found dead near Mosul.