US State Department report lashes out at Iraqi Kurdish leaders

The US State Department has accused the leaders of the two ruling parties in the Kurdistan Region of influencing the judicial system, suppressing opponents and critics, and forming separate security and military institutions to protect their interests.

In its annual report on the state of human rights in countries and regions of the world, the US State Department has accused the rulers of the Kurdistan region of widespread human rights violations.
It has been stated in this report that although the Iraqi constitution has given the Kurdistan Region the right to establish security institutions, the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iraq (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which govern this region, have formed separate security and military forces for themselves. They also have their own institutions and information services.
The US State Department has blamed the confusion and overlapping of the security and judicial spheres in the Kurdistan Region, which has resulted in some members of the security forces committing various crimes, including human rights violations.
The US State Department has reported the immunity of the security forces from punishment as one of the weaknesses of the judicial systems in the Kurdistan Region.
The State Department has also pointed out the widespread arrest of journalists, political and civil activists by the security institutions of the Kurdistan Region, even before the protests were held.
The report also mentions many cases of involvement of the political authorities of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq in court cases and creating obstacles in the process of fair handling of accusations.
The United States has accused the leaders of the two parties of interfering in sensitive judicial cases and dismissing and appointing justice officials regardless to the usual process.
This report also mentions the exclusive access of the media affiliated to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party to public and government information and places and the deprivation of non-affiliated media to the facilities.
Iraqi Kurdish leaders have been accused of restricting the access of opposition media to public information.
The critical report by the US State Department about the performance of the Kurdistan Regional Government and Kurdish leaders has been sharply denounced by the Kurdistan Regional Government.
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