Open letter to Mr Masud Barzani, the President of Kurdistan Democratic Party and Mr Nechervan Barzani Deputy President
Open letter to Mr Masud Barzani, the President of Kurdistan Democratic Party and
Mr Nechervan Barzani Deputy President
It has been approximately three years since an Australian family decided to return to Iraq. The family’s decision to return to Iraq was supported by the mother’s father, AZAD MIRAN, who is a military general, a former Kurdistan Democratic Party parliament member and an adviser to the former Kurdish President. Shortly after their return Azad Miran commenced interfering in his daughter’s private life, which resulted in conflicts between her and her husband. Consequently, on the 25th December 2018, after almost two years of continued struggle, the couple divorced in the Iraqi courts. The couple have two children; a daughter, 12, and a son, 8, both whom were born in Australia and hold only Australian citizenship. Both children are unwell and require ongoing medical care. Neither their treatment nor their medical specialists were available in Iraq. Their father continued to send them their medications until he lost contact with them on 18th March 2018.
According to the court order proclaimed by the Iraqi court the father was allowed fortnightly visitation rights. He would travel between Australia and Iraq, solely for the purpose of contact visits; unfortunately Mr Miran, on several occasions prevented the father and children from seeing one another, subsequently the father returned to Australia very disappointed after not being allowed to see his children. Mr Miran also seized the children’s Australian passports. Furthermore, this heavyhearted father was also forced to accept his ex father-in-law’s strict and brutal conditions for the sake of seeing his children. It is important to note, that the father took full financial responsibility as a parent and paid, more than the required amount of, child support as well as purchasing medication, providing them with communication devices (iPhones, iPads) and continually buying them presents.
On 23rd April 2017 the father, who had pleaded with the courts for visitation rights, was granted contact visits at the school the children were attending. To oversee the court order and overcome the difficulties created by the Mr Miran the court sent Policemen to the children’s school. However, Mr Miran sent his own-armed personnel led by a military officer named Aza Assad Miran to obstruct the court order. After some back and forth, the Policemen had no choice but to leave the school without arranging contacts between the father and the children, they also did not arrest the mother, who had obstructed justice by not complying with the court orders. The father once again returned to Australia disappointed. Following this there was a court order proclaimed requesting Police to bring the children’s mother in front of the courts for not complying with court orders; this was never followed through with.
A concerning development in this case; as of June 2018 both children have disappeared, suddenly and without notice. All forms of communication between the children and their father have ceased. According to some information received by IFIR the children are not in Iraq. It is believed they have travelled to another country. As this has been done without the knowledge or consultation of the father, we consider this kidnapping.
What is more distressing for us is the fact that there were letters addressed to both President and Deputy President of KDP from The Protection Centre for Defence of Children’s Rights in Iraq expressing their concerns and condemning the brutal actions of Mr Miran and his disobeying law and orders, all of Mr Miran’s actions are backed by his position in your party. The Protection Centre for Defence of Children’s Rights previously informed about these incidents and asked that you become involved and obliged Mr Miran to comply with law and order. Unfortunately supporting Mr Miran was more important than your law and order, than children and human rights that is why you have chosen to do nothing. These actions resulted in Mr Miran feeling supported in his actions and continuing to be oppressive towards a defenceless father.
We have tried to solve these problems with PDK representatives in London but after waiting for over a week our requests have gone unanswered.
This is not the first or the last case that we have received about the inhumane actions of the Kurdish authorities. In the last few years the Kurdistan Government has supported the forceful deportation of asylum seekers and created a miserable life for women and children. Erbil and Sulaimaniyah’s airports were open and able to accept European forcibly deported asylum seekers. In this way, they have supported the inhumane European anti-refugee policies against the disadvantaged asylum seekers from Kurdistan, who have been returned humiliated.
We, from the IFIR, express our extreme concern about the fate of those two children and condemn the actions of this KDP military general and KDP’s authorities’ support of their high ranking member. The KDP should step in if they have any respect for their own laws and court systems. They should give the children’s father all information about their whereabouts and arrange contact visits between the children and their father immediately. We also ask the KDP to take action against their Mr Miran for obstructing justice by not complying with court orders, for dismissing the basic human rights of contact between a child and their parent and finally for the disappearance of two unwell children. By doing nothing you are supporting these inhumane actions and we will have no choice but to seek assistance and action from international child protection and human rights organisations to find the exact location of these children, arrange a contact visit with their father.
We hope you act immediately in this urgent matter. We look forward to hearing from you.
International Federation of Iraqi Refugees-IFIR