To prevent and raise awareness about extremism

An anti-extremism committee established in Halabja

HALABJA — Local authorities in Halabja have established a committee aimed at preventing extremism and violence in the area, focusing primarily on monitoring, awareness, educational activities.

The committee convened its inaugural meeting on March 19, chaired by the Deputy Governor of Halabja Kawa Ali, and included representatives from various administrative units and departments in the area and broader Kurdistan Region.

The committee’s objectives include educating families and youth about promoting human rights, and implementing projects aimed at reducing violent extremism.

Mona Yaku, head of the Independent Human Rights Commission in the Kurdistan and a member of the Halabja committee, emphasized the increasing trend of extremism in the region and the commission’s commitment to addressing it.

She stated, “Extremism is on the rise in the Kurdistan Region without any significant countermeasures being taken.”

“As the Independent Human Rights Commission, we take such cases seriously and file complaints against anyone who spreads extremism, and our membership in this committee serves that purpose,” Yaku added.

While official statistics on extremism in Kurdistan are unavailable, security forces in Sulaymaniyah province have conducted several raids in recent weeks, apprehending individuals suspected of affiliations with extremist jihadi groups.

During the Islamic State’s (ISIS) caliphate years last decade, a few hundred individuals from the Kurdistan Region were suspected to have joined the group, per local authorities. Over the years, the group has disseminated propaganda aimed at Kurdish speakers in both Sorani and Kurmanji dialects, with the intent to recruit individuals from these communities.

The committee in Halabja collaborates with local professional organizations and endeavors to create employment opportunities for youth as a preventive measure against circumstances conducive to extremism.