Iraq: An attack on teachers leads to the destruction of society

published 7 July 2022 updated 12 July 2022

Strongly condemning the murder of two academics in its Iraqi region, the Kurdistan Teachers’ Union (KTU) has reaffirmed that an attack on teachers is an attack on education, which is the keystone of peaceful, healthy and sustainable society.

In a statement, the KTU Bureau denounced the assassination of Dr. Kawan Ismael, dean of the college of law, and Dr. Idris Hamakhan, a renowned university scholar, on 28 June in Erbil.

Vehemently denouncing “this crime against science and humanity”, KTU offered its condolences to the deceased educators’ friends, academic associates, and families.

The leaders of the education union noted that “in Kurdistan in general, and in Erbil in particular, it was a truly heart-breaking tragedy,” adding that “killing teachers will lead to the abolition of society, since it will destroy the value of education”.

KTU also stressed that teachers have been subjected to violence for a number of years in complete impunity for the perpetrators or with trial postponement on too many occasions.

The union also recalled that, three years ago, it presented a nine-article-bill for adoption by the Kurdistan parliament. This legal project intended to provide teachers and education personnel with protection and immunity.

For KTU, “anyone who threatens teachers is breaking the law. But regrettably, MPs paid no attention to our proposal and, as a result, it was neglected, leading to the tragic events in Erbil. We worry that this will worsen and affect the entire future.”

It reiterated three key demands:

  1. The Kurdistan Parliament must quickly enhance the teachers’ immunity bill.
  2. The Government of Kurdistan must outlaw the carrying of weapons, because too many people, both men and women, are slain daily in this region.
  3. The courts must use every legal mean to punish individuals who harm teachers and attack them.