Families of Er and Dağ ask president Barzani to halt execution

Families of Abdurrahman Er (Muhammed Beşiksiz) and Mazlum Dağ wrote an open letter to the Kurdistan Regional President Mr. Nechirvan Barzani asking him to halt the execution of the two Kurds.

Necmettin Er wrote an open letter to the Kurdistan Regional President Mr. Nechirvan Barzani on behalf of the families of Kurdish youth Abdurrahman Er (Muhammed Beşiksiz) and Mazlum Dağ.

Necmettin Er asked the KRG president to halt the execution of the two Kurds. The two have been sentenced to death for the attack of 17 July 2019 in Erbil resulting in the death of MIT executive Osman Köse.

The letter is as follows:  

"On 17 July 2019, a fatal incident took place in Erbil, the capital of the Iraqi Kurdistan region. Shortly after the incident, some Kurdish youth, including my nephew Abdurrahman Er, were arrested.

My nephew Abdurrahman and his friend Mazlum Dağ were sentenced to death by the Erbil 2nd Criminal Court after a short trial on 11 February 2020. The same file went quickly to the court of appeal, and the death sentence was upheld by the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government Appeals Court on 22 September 2020. Your consent is required for the death penalty to be executed.”

The death penalty has been largely removed from the law in modern criminal codes and democratic countries. We are patriotic families who paid a great price, including life, in the Kurdistan cause. At a time when massive campaigns against death penalty are being carried out all over the world, we find it difficult to understand the sentence handed out to two Kurdish youth in Kurdistan and we regret it.

These young people rebelled against what the Turkish state has done against us and our people. When it comes to the incident for which our children have been sentenced, their target was the Turkish state, their target was the MIT official who carried out military operations.

Considering the brutal attacks carried out by the Turkish state against our people, in our opinion, this incident, in which two Kurdish young people got involved, is not an event that calls for the death penalty. These young people said that they were involved in this event as a method of defending the rights of the Kurdish people. Undoubtedly, we did not find it right that they were involved in an event that ended in death. We know that there are other ways to seek rights, and we make such recommendations. But the punishment for this cannot be death, it should not be. Especially, the idea of death penalty carried out by the Kurdistan Region Court deeply shake us.

Finally, it is up to you, Mr. President, whether this death penalty is upheld or not. We hereby appeal to you and request you to reject execution. As the Kurdistan Regional President, it is up to you to prevent the execution of two Kurdish youths by other Kurds for an incident carried out to defend Kurdish national feelings. If this decision is implemented, the belief of the people of Kurdistan in justice will be broken and their national feelings will be hurt. We believe that by not approving this decision and stopping the execution, you will avoid situations that would harm our brotherhood.

Dozens of non-governmental organizations and prominent figures who support this request and have already contacted us to convey their solidarity. These civil society organisations and international institutions expect the death penalty to be removed from all legal codes.

With these expectations and emotions, we ask you to reject the death sentence and show the world that the Kurdish people and their institutions are against the death penalty."