The Corner

Report: Masrour Barzani Arrested in Austria

There are a number of reports–and I have received a number of phone calls and e-mails–reporting that Masrour Barzani, son of Iraqi Kurdish leader Masud Barzani and the chief of KDP intelligence, and his bodyguards either shot and/or beat leading Kurdish anti-corruption activist Kamal Said Qadir in Austria yesterday. Reports suggest they are now in prison. Here’s a link in Kurdish to the incident, and some background from The Corner in 2006 on the interaction between the two. Masud Barzani still paints himself as the face of democracy in Iraqi Kurdistan, but Kurds complain about ongoing abuses by his sons akin to that once perpetrated by Uday and Qusay Hussein. If this latest incident involving Masrour Barzani is true, it will underlie such Kurdish associations and raise questions among ordinary Iraqi Kurds about the blind eye the State Department is turning to civil abuses in Iraqi Kurdistan and the lawlessness of some of its figures.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.

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