CPTnet is the news service of CPT, providing daily news updates, reports, reflections, prayer requests and action alerts.


IRAQI KURDISTAN: CPTers celebrate with partners from Baste village an important achievement - connection to electrical grid - which the community strove for for many years

7 December 2017
IRAQI KURDISTAN: CPTers celebrate with partners from Baste village an important achievement - connection to electrical grid - which the community strove for for many years

by Lukasz Firla

Christian Peacemaker Teams has accompanied the community of Baste and their mukhtar – traditional community leader – kak Bapir since the early days of the team’s presence in Iraqi Kurdistan, for over ten years now. Baste is an ancient village, famous widely for being a “Peace village”, for providing a safe haven for women and men running from blood feuds and for negotiations between warring Kurdish clans and armies.

Baste village in the forefront of the high border mountains

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos November 21-27


Occupying Generations 

Pictured here: Every morning in the Salaymeh neighbourhood, this mother walks her son to the checkpoint that blocks his path to school, waiting for the bus to arrive on the other side. How many generations of Palestinians in al-Khalil will have to walk through checkpoints to get to school? 


Prayers for Peacemakers, 29 November 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 29 November 2017

Please pray for more than 7,000 refugees stranded on the Greek island of Lesbos, they ask for protection from approaching winter and freedom to continue their journey. Pray for an Afghani family of a 10-year-old boy who drowned in the sea and a family that may be torn apart by deportation. Please hold in your prayers the CPT team, team's partner Pikpa, and other people who act in love and solidarity.

The situation on Lesbos is rather bleak currently. Winter is approaching, and there are many who only have a summer tent to sleep in. The government is repressive in the manner that it interacts with the refugees on the island. There have been instances of arrests and physical use of force from the side of the police.

The trials of people accused of being human smugglers, many of whom are refugees who ended up steering a boat to safety, have started up again, and the Lesvos team have gotten back into the swing of attending those. The solidarity camp Pikpa is full, and the other camps on the island are overflowing. There are more than 7,000 people in the government run camp of Moria, which was built and can provide for about 2,500. This is only exacerbated by the laws of the European Union which are not allowing people to leave Lesbos. We would invite people to check out the #opentheislands campaign.

While there are many people and families that could really use prayer right now, I would like to specifically highlight a couple stories of families in Pikpa. One family from Afghanistan is very new on the island, and during their crossing one of their children, a 10-year-old son, drowned. The family is being supported by the other residents of Pikpa and the CPT team, but it is still very hard for the family.

The second story is of a family with two young children. The father of this family has been denied his blue stamp, which would allow him to continue on to the main land, twice now. This means that he is facing government issued deportation. This has caused a lot of psychological stress for the family.

We want our right -- Open the islands

LESVOS REFLECTION: Your Longing Hands -- an asylum seeker from the oppressed Arab minority of Iran shares the story of his life and longing to reunite with his mother and sister

24 November 2017
LESVOS REFLECTION: Your Longing Hands -- an asylum seeker from the oppressed Arab minority of Iran shares the story of his life and longing to reunite with his mother and sister

by Rûnbîr Serkepkanî

They do not make coffee with cardamom here in Greece. No one makes coffee like your mother. It’s been five years since you last drank your mother’s coffee with cardamom. Borders have prevented her from filling your soul with the wonderful scent of cardamom every morning.

You were born in Kuwait. You went to Iranian school there where you learnt Farsi. You worked as a carpenter. Your brother was in Ahwaz, Iran where he was defending the oppressed Arabic minority of that region. During the Eid al-Adha he was dressing in his finest Arabic dishdasha dress and wearing his agal head-dress. He was going out with his comrades. Eid al-Adha is the day when all Arabs in Iran go out together, in groups of five or more. It is the day of resistance. It is the day when everyone breaks the silence. The day when everyone prays and protests together. During one of these eids they captured him and put him in ‘The Security Police’ prison. Three years later he was dead “of natural causes.” Young Arabs in Iran do not die because of natural causes. They die from torture, police beatings, and government-sanctioned hangings.

Longing hands and an empty cup

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Read the team's latest newsletter -- Post-referendum situation and much more.

23 November 2017
IRAQI KURDISTAN: Read the team's latest newsletter -- Post-referendum situation and much more

Summer 2017

Iraqi Kurdistan

Iraqi Kurdistan's Referendum
The officials of Iraqi Kurdistan held a referendum on September 25, 2017, to determine whether the people of the currently autonomous region wanted to separate from Iraq or not. The referendum angered the Iraqi government and neighbouring countries. The majority of the people voted ''YES'' in the referendum but the reactions from Iraqi government and the rest of the neighbours have been extremely outrageous for the people of Iraqi Kurdistan.

However, after the referendum took place the situation in Iraqi Kurdistan has drastically changed. The Iraqi government banned all international flights to and from Iraqi Kurdistan's airports and threatened to take other serious measures including sanctions. Various people from different sides gave many hateful speeches which worried the Kurdistan's people specifically people in Kirkuk and surrounding towns. Furthermore, both the Turkish and Iranian governments moved their armies to the border of Iraqi Kurdistan and conducted military drills and together with the Iraqi army threatened to take over the borderlands. Subsequently, the Iranian government closed its shared border crossings with Iraqi Kurdistan and the Turkish government has claimed to close down its only border gate with Iraqi Kurdistan soon.

In a rapid attack on October 16-17, the Iraqi army alongside militia groups took control over Kirkuk city and all other disputed areas under Kurdistan's forces control. Additionally, Kurdistan's media propaganda has worsened the situation. These actions have caused mass displacement of Kurdish and Sunni Arab families from the disputed areas. Over 5 million people in both the disputed areas and Iraqi Kurdistan proper feel extremely uncertain about their future. The people of both Iraq and Kurdistan are asking all sides to stop all military advances and media propaganda to prevent war between Iraqi government and Iraqi Kurdistan. Following what had happened in disputed areas, the relationship between the Iraqi Kurdistan's political parties has deteriorated rapidly. The party affiliated media have started propaganda and accusatory campaigns against the other parties which leads to a lot of chaos and uncertainty at the moment. Many people worry that a civil war might break out.

The international community has stayed silent except for a strong condemnation and refusal of the Iraqi Kurdistan's referendum as well as sending out confusing messages which have deeply disappointed the people of disputed areas and Iraqi Kurdistan.

Christian Peacemaker Teams - Iraqi Kurdistan (CPT) has written a more detailed reflection about the referendum and the reactions of the Iraqi government, international community and neighbouring countries, which you can read here. Following the military actions that took place in Kirkuk and other disputed areas, CPT has written a Call for peace mobilization, which you can find here. Furthermore, CPT helped create and co-signed a Statement of the Iraqi Civil Society organizations calling for dialogue, which you might read here.

We will continue sharing updates and our perspectives regarding the current situation in Iraqi Kurdistan through our website and social media platforms.
Iraqi Kurdistan, post-referendum 
By: Kasia Protz
Photo from NRT TV.

A majority of people living in Iraqi Kurdistan have long expressed their desire to determine their future. Therefore, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) scheduled a referendum on independence to take place within Iraqi Kurdistan as well as several outlying disputed territories. On the 25th of September, an overwhelming majority voted for a separation from Iraq in favor of an independent Kurdistan. The referendum was not supported on the international level with United States, European Union and the neighboring countries such as Iran and Turkey strongly opposing it.  The Iraqi government opposed the referendum as well. Read the full article here.


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