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Iraqi MPs condemn alleged Peshmerga abuses

Move comes after video surfaces purportedly showing Peshmerga troops assaulting displaced Arab civilians

BAGHDAD (Original article posted on 02/20/2017)

An Iraqi parliamentary committee on human rights on Monday demanded that Baghdad and Erbil investigate alleged abuses by Kurdish Peshmerga forces against displaced Sunni-Arab civilians.

The demand followed the emergence of a video online purportedly showing Peshmerga forces assaulting Arab civilians who had fled Daesh-held parts of northern Iraq.

A Kurdish lawmaker, for his part, said the video portrayed an "isolated incident", which, he asserted, was being exploited by "certain parties" for political purposes.

On Saturday, online activists shared a video on Facebook purportedly showing armed fighters -- who activists said were Peshmerga troops -- severely beating Sunni-Arab civilians who had recently fled the Daesh-held Al-Hawija district south of Mosul.

"We condemn the brutal treatment meted out by Peshmerga fighters against displaced Arab civilians that occurred in the Molla Abdullah area of Kirkuk province," Abdul-Raheem al-Shammari, chairman of the parliamentary committee, said in a statement.

"These acts by Peshmerga forces are a flagrant rights violation against unarmed civilians," he added.

Al-Shammari also called for an investigation into the incident by officials in Baghdad and Erbil, the latter of which serves as administrative capital of northern Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region, where the incident allegedly took place.

Mohsen al-Saadoun, for his part, a lawmaker for the Kurdistan Alliance party in Iraq’s parliament, said that what appears in the video was an "isolated incident".

Nor, he said, did it reflect on the overall performance of Kurdish Peshmerga forces, who, he said, had "provided protection for thousands of displaced Iraqis".

"The incident is being exploited by certain groups for political purposes," al-Saadoun told Anadolu Agency without elaborating.

The Daesh terrorist group remains in control of much of southwestern Kirkuk, including Al-Hawija and the Al-Riyadh and Al-Zab districts, while Peshmerga forces control the rest of the province.

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.

(c) Anadolu Agency 2017

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