Prayers for Peacemakers, 27 February 2019 Iraqi Kurdistan

We pray for the immediate release of CPT-Iraqi Kurdistan partner Sherwan Sherwani and other journalists and civil society activists whom the government has imprisoned in Duhok, Iraqi Kurdistan. We pray for strength to endure and freedom for all political prisoners in Iraqi Kurdistan and around the world. We also pray for their families and loved ones and for a day when freedom of expression is lifted up and cherished around the world.

IRAQI KURDISTAN: The killing of Himda'at Othman Darwish and the occupation of Barmiza Village.

A Turkish war pilot fired the rocket that disintegrated the body of Himda’at Othman and shattered the lives of those who loved him. Himda’at Othman was not a man of war. In his early twenties, the oldest son of Othman Darwish and Jawhar Abdullah and with a wife and infant son of his own, he worked hard to support his family by trading between the parts of Kurdistan controlled by the two dominant political parties.

IRAQI KURDISTAN: “We are not terrorists, not ISIS; we are sons of this town; we are with you!”

On the 23 January 2019, the Turkish military killed six people in a cross-border bombing near the Kurdish town of Deraluk.  Across Iraqi Kurdistan, many shared in the devastation of the families who lost loved ones, and the attack sparked outrage against the Turkish military presence in nearby Shiladze.

IRAQI KURDISTAN: A silence louder than bombs

On 25 January 2019, we were on our way to visit Halania, a Kurdish village where a Turkish bombing ended 19-year-old Dunya Rasheed’s life. Our team has been to Halania many times over the past months and written several articles trying to raise the voices of Dunya’s family in hopes that something will help stop these acts of violence against the people of Iraqi Kurdistan. Each time we visit, we are welcomed warmly however the mood is always somber. As the team’s translator and also one of our Kurdish team members, these visits are especially hard on me. I have to soak in every word because I want to translate for my team in a way that is both accurate, but also conveys the emotion of the speaker. I want people to be able to retell these stories in a way that will make others care about our partners’ struggle and my country’s pain.


Pray for the end of the Turkish state’s plans for the full-scale invasion and ethnic cleansing of the Kurdish, Yezidi and Syriac Christian people of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria. Stand up and say, “No more!” to the governments, businesses and political figures who ally themselves with Turkey—to genocide and the destruction of hundreds of thousands of lives—with their words and with their armament sales. Pray and speak up also for the withdrawal of  the Turkish army from more than one hundred Iraqi Kurdish villages.  

IRAQI KURDISTAN: "I lost my sister. . .and I want everyone to know."

On 30 June Dunya Rasheed, a high school student from Halania, Iraqi Kurdistan went to harvest nuts with her family. The village lands of Halania are in close proximity to a Turkish base constructed within the international borders of Iraqi Kurdistan. Turkish soldiers shot a rocket directly into a group of thirty villagers harvesting crops on their own lands. This attack ended Dunya’s life. 
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