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Committees' recent meetings - 12 May 2022

Martyrs, Genocide and Political Prisoners Committee

4 April – The committee met with the Kurdistan Landmine Clearance Agency (the General Landmine Affairs Agency), who explained their work and the challenges that they face.

The Landmine Clearance Agency officials asked for their staff to be granted employee rights and privileges, given the dangerous nature of their work. The committee supported their request and decided to arrange a meeting with all the relevant parties to help resolve the agency’s problems and requests.

14 April – The committee issued the following statement on the 34-year commemoration of the Anfal genocide against the Kurds:

Thirty-four years ago the Ba'ath dictatorship committed the most brutal crime against the Kurdish people in an operation called the Anfal, which they carried out in eight stages.

The attack was intended to annihilate the people of Kurdistan and to destroy areas that the regime designated as no-go zones, causing massive physical, human, social and environmental damage. The genocide killed 182,000 people and destroyed 4,500 villages.

Even today the families of the victims have not been adequately compensated and are still suffering from a lack of services.

On this same anniversary last year, 14th April 2021, our committee called on the Kurdistan Regional Government to provide more services to the areas that were affected by the Anfal campaign.

We reiterate that the Iraqi government, which inherits the duties of the previous Ba’ath government, must compensate all the victims and allocate a special budget to improve the affected areas.

25 April – The committee discussed how, in cooperation with relevant authorities, the remains of some of the Anfal genocide victims in southern and central Iraq can be repatriated to Kurdistan to a final resting place, and how this can be expedited after waiting for a considerable time. The committee has been monitoring the issue for many months.

The committee also discussed recent meetings abroad by some of their members with other committees to advocate for recognition of the Kurdish genocide internationally.

10 May – The committee met with Halabja’s representative for former political prisoners who explained their problems and the committee pledged to raise them and help find solutions.

Then they discussed the laws on the rights and privileges of martyrs, and the law on the rights and privileges of former political prisoners. They decided to look into amending these two laws.

The committee replied to their correspondence.   

Endowments and Religious Affairs Committee

1 April – The committee conveyed their best wishes to Muslims in Kurdistan at the start of the holy month of Ramadan.

17 April – The committee conveyed the following Easter message:

We convey our best wishes to all our Christian brothers and sisters in Kurdistan for a Happy Easter. We hope that this Easter will be celebrated in peace and prosperity and that it brings continued brotherhood and peaceful coexistence for all.

This Easter, we wish for more brotherhood, love and peaceful coexistence between all the ethnic and religious communities of the Kurdistan Region, and ask that everyone protects Kurdistan’s ancient culture of tolerance.

Our best wishes on this blessed day to Christians, who are an original ancient community of Kurdistan.

26 April - The MPs discussed the next Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, which has not taken place from Kurdistan for two years because of the Coronavirus pandemic. They decided to meet with the KRG Directorate of Hajj and Umrah to discuss this year’s Hajj travel procedures.

The committee read the correspondence sent to them and replied or directed them to Parliament’s Presidency for follow-up with the relevant authorities.

Protection of Women’s Rights Committee

5 April – The committee worked on their report on the Bill on Combating Violence against Women and Families, and decided to hold another meeting to continue working on the bill.

16 April – The committee continued working on the Bill on Combatting Violence against Women and Families and exchanged views on the recommendations made on the bill by the government, civil society organizations, academics and experts. They decided to have another meeting to work on the bill.

Interior, Security and Local Councils Committee

26 April – The committee discussed the Bill on Retirement of Interior and Security Forces. They also discussed the problems facing government guards working under non-permanent contracts.

The MPs read correspondence and replied or raised them with the relevant authorities. They formed  a sub-committee to look into the issues raised in some of the correspondence.

Education, Higher Education and Scientific Research Committee

24 April – The committee met with the Taskforce on Education, which is led by the American University of Kurdistan-Duhok and includes experts and staff from different universities and from the government. The committee asked for the Taskforce’s views on the Education Bill, which aims to be a wide-ranging reform of the education sector. 

Municipalities, Transport, Communication, Travel and Tourism Committee

18 April – The committee discussed the steps taken by the Ministry of Municipalities and the Council of Ministers regarding the problems and complaints about household smart water meters. The ministry and the Council of Ministers have made some new decisions based on the committee’s recommendations and suggestions, including reducing the penalties for households that have not yet installed the smart water meters.

On waste collection companies, the committee decided with the Ministry of Municipalities how to better organize the companies’ work and how to pay the companies their monthly fees on time.

The committee decided to visit the Ministry of Transport and Communication soon to look into several issues.

Health, Environment and Consumer Rights Committee

19 April – The committee discussed food quality and prices and decided to meet with the Health Ministry to discuss food quality regulation and control.

The committee discussed a MPs’ allegation that a cosmetic surgery doctor sexually assaulted several women. They decided to ask the Health Ministry to form a committee to look into the allegation and give their findings.

The committee read their correspondence and replied or raised it with the relevant parties.  

12 May – The committee issued this statement on International Nurses Day:

We convey our best wishes and thanks to the tireless, selfless nurses of Kurdistan. We are proud that Kurdistan’s nurses are at the forefront of protecting the public’s health in this new challenging era, and we honour the nurses who lost their lives in carrying out their noble vocation.

Nurses have been at the forefront of developing our health sector services. Healthcare is where service to humanity is at its greatest.

We also thank all the health workers and volunteers who have put their own health at risk to care for and protect us.

We ask the KRG to provide opportunities for nurses to progress in their professions in the public and private sectors and for the government to benefit more from nurses’ abilities and experience, and through laws and instructions to consider the balance between their rights and responsibilities. We encourage the syndicates to continue defending the rights of their members.  We are ready to support nursing professionals and healthcare workers through the passage of legislation.

Erbil's Director General of Health and the heads of the relevant departments answered the committee's questions and promised to write an official letter to the committee.

Integrity Committee

16 April – The committee reviewed their recent monitoring of Coronavirus spending by some provinces, and decided to look at the remaining provinces as soon as possible in order to complete a report and discuss their findings with the relevant ministers.

The MPs discussed the drafting of a national anti-corruption strategy for 2021 to 2025 by the Kurdistan Region Integrity Commission, and decided to follow up with the commission on how such a strategy would be implemented.

The committee read their correspondence and replied.

25 April – The committee met with the Head of the Integrity Commission, Judge Ahmed Anwar. They discussed how the four-year national anti-corruption strategy for 2021 to 2025 is being implemented, with the aim of preventing waste and misuse of public funds, and how to increase their cooperation.

Social Affairs and Protection of Human Rights Committee

4 April - Under the supervision of Kurdistan Parliament Speaker Dr. Rewaz Faiq, the committee discussed the legislative proposal on the application of Law No. 21 of 1998, the fifth amendment to the Law on Welfare of Juveniles (No. 76 of 1983), which was requested by the Kurdistan Region Judicial Council.

They discussed all the articles in order to prepare their report for the bill’s second reading at a sitting.

18 April – The committee discussed the legislative proposal on the application of Law No. 21 of 1998, the fifth amendment to the Law on Welfare of Juveniles (No. 76 of 1983), which was directed to Parliament’s Legislative Committee by Parliament’s Presidency.

The committee discussed their visit to Slemani’s general security directorate on 11th April and in their report they raised the problems with detention centres, delays in charging and prosecutions because of the large number of cases, and family phone calls and visits for inmates and detainees. The committee pledged to raise the prisoners’ complaints and demands.

The MPs decided to ask in writing for statistics and data from all the prisons and to conduct more prison visits across the region.

Finance and Economic Affairs Committee

5 April – The committee met with Mr. Khalid Hadi Chawshli, the head of the Kurdistan Region Audit Board.

They discussed the opening of offices of the audit board in Duhok and Halabja. They also discussed the board’s work, auditing of Kurdistan Region's income, property and financial problems. Both sides stressed the need to set a government expenditure budget in advance, based on the needs of the public.

The committee asked that the audit board’s report be prepared soon for them to make the necessary investigations and to understand government offices’ revenues and expenditure, especially in light of the KRG’s failure to send Parliament a budget bill.

Relations and Kurdish Diaspora Committee

25 April – The committee wrote to the KRG Department of Foreign Relations asking it to continue to ask the UK Government to find the bodies of missing migrants who tragically drowned in the English Channel.

They also decided to follow up on their meeting with the UK Consul General regarding the drowned migrants.

Peshmerga Committee

12 April - The committee discussed the problems and requests of the Peshmerga forces and decided to continue their monitoring and follow-up through their sub-committees.

The committee read and replied to the correspondence sent to them.

Reconstruction and Investment Committee

11 April – The committee reviewed correspondence received and sent.

They discussed land that was used for residential housing investment projects, and how to find solutions that restore the rights of farmers as well as investors.

The MPs exchanged views on problems that have been raised regarding a residential complex.

Legislative Committee

10 May – The committee reviewed the Bill on the application of Law No. 21 of 1998, the fifth amendment to the Law on Welfare of Juveniles (No. 76 of 1983), and prepared their report for the bill to have a second reading at a Parliament sitting.

Agriculture and Irrigation Committee

16 April – The committee received a request from poultry egg farmers to ban imports of foreign-produced eggs at the customs borders, in order to support domestic egg producers’ sales in the local market.

After discussion, the committee decided to raise the issue in writing and investigate it.

The committee decided to ask the KRG Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, in writing, to resolve the agricultural problems in Harir, Barana and surrounding areas.

The MPs also discussed the purchase of farmers' wheat and decided to meet with wheat-purchasing companies.

25 April – The committee met with the Kurdistan Veterinarians Syndicate, who presented the committee with an award in appreciation of the committee’s efforts to pass the Law on Supervision of Agricultural Projects.

The committee decided to follow up with the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation and the Council of Ministers on how it is issuing instructions to implement this new law, so that it is enforced successfully.

Culture, Civil Society, Sports and Youth Committee

 13 April – The committee discussed the Bill on the Kurdistan Olympic Committee, which has had its first reading at a sitting, and decided to write to Parliament’s Presidency to ask the KRG Council of Ministers and other relevant parties for their views, comments and recommendations regarding the bill.

The committee also discussed the legislative proposal on artists’ retirement, and decided that after it has had a first reading they will meet with the artists syndicate and other relevant parties to hear their views and suggestions.

The vice-chair Jalal Pareshan (KDP) briefed his colleagues about some of the members’ visit to France and the committee decided to write a report to Parliament’s Presidency on their meetings there.

22 April 2022 – The committee conveyed best wishes to journalists on the 124th Kurdish Journalism Day:

We congratulate Kurdistan’s journalists on the 124th anniversary of Kurdish journalism, which began with the first issue of Kurdistan newspaper by Miqdad Midhat Bedir Khan and his brother Abdul-Rahman in Cairo.

We believe that unless we build the right foundations for media freedom, a democratic and free system cannot be achieved. So it is our priority to defend the rights and freedom of journalists and the media in Kurdistan, as well as to help regulate Kurdistan’s media, especially in light of the massive growth and influence of electronic media in Kurdistan.

The provisions in the Kurdistan Press Law (Law No. 35 of 2007) and in Kurdistan Region's Right to Information Law (Law No. 11 of 2013) create the legal framework for organizing and ensuring media freedom in Kurdistan Region.

We convey our best wishes to Kurdistan’s media workers on this anniversary, we pay our respects to the martyrs of Kurdish journalism and we reiterate our support for the journalists and media outlets. We will always support and help them to improve and expand their work.

We ask the media to play an important role in presenting any proposals regarding amendments to media legislation or any other media legislation proposals, so that our committee can put such proposal in Parliament’s agenda and so that we can work together to improve the situation for journalists in Kurdistan.

Parliamentary Affairs and Complaints Committee

26 April – The committee discussed the Parliament Presidency’s delay in replying to their letters and questions. They discussed problems raised by MPs, such as MPs’ visa applications. They also discussed hiring of parliament advisers in this current term of Parliament after MPs took up their seats.