Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Report: Kurdish security arrest 50 waving Iraqi flags following soccer win

Above: U.S. soldiers from Hawaii pose in front of the Kurdish and Iraqi national flags. Massoud Barzani, president of Iraqi Kurdistan, ordered the Iraqi flag replaced with the Kurdish flag last September.

Kurdish security forces in the northern autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq have arrested 50 young people who were waving the Iraqi national flag to celebrate the country's victory in the Asian Cup football.

A police officer in the Dohuk province said those arrested were predominantly Christians or members of the Yezidi minotiry, a religious community which passes on its beliefs via oral tradition.

For the autonomous Kurdistan region, the flag is a particularly sensitive issue. Security forces in the three northern provinces of Dohuk, Erbil and Sulamaniya have been ordered by the government to arrest anyone displaying the Iraqi national flag - considered a symbol of Arab nationalism and a reminder of the repression of Kurds under the regime of Saddam Hussein

The regional president Massoud Barzani last year replaced the national flag with a regional flag.

Read the rest at AKI

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