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Archive for Iraq

Newsline: Iraqi Embassy ordered to pay unfairly sacked driver almost $11000

The Iraq Embassy in Canberra has been ordered to pay a former employee almost $11,000 after he was unfairly sacked. Ahmed Kenawy worked as a driver to Ambassador Hussain Al-Ameri for eight months from July 2017 until February 2017, when he claims he had been forced to resign. He lodged an unfair dismissal application, seeking compensation, with the Fair Work Commission and the matter came before Deputy president John Kovacic in November. Mr Kovacic found that, as Mr Kenawy had four months and one week left to run on his contract, that he would have earned US$8500 (A$10,849.86), less tax, if he had not been sacked. “I do not consider reinstatement appropriate and propose an amount of compensation of US$8500 less applicable tax to be paid.” The embassy was given 21 days to pay Mr Kenawy.



Newsline: Kurds across Canada demonstrate in front of US Embassy offices

The Kurdish diaspora across Canada on Tuesday demonstrated in front of the United States Embassy offices, calling on Washington to break its silence as Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed Shia militias continue to attack Peshmerga. In the Canadian capital of Ottawa, the Kurdish diaspora gathered in front of the Canadian Parliament building before marching toward the US Embassy. The peaceful rally, organized by the Kurdish Association of Canada, was meant to bring attention to the recent injustices against Kurdistan at the hands of the Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militia.


Newsline: Iraq slams attack on Iran consulate in Erbil

Iraq’s Foreign Ministry in a Sat. statement has condemned a pre-planned attack on Iranian consulate in Erbil, holding authorities of the Kurdistan region responsible for endangering lives of the consulate staff. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iraq condemns the pre-planned attack on Iran’s consulate in Erbil and the disrespect to the flag of the neighboring country and the endangering of lives of the consulate staff,” Iraq’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Mahjoob said in a statement. The Iraqi foreign ministry also slammed attacks on other consulates and UN offices in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iraq holds authorities of the Kurdistan region fully responsible for the life and safety of the consulates’ staff,” the spokesman added. In a statement issued on Sunday, Iran’s consulate in Erbil condemned the Friday attack, reminding the KRG authorities of their duty to protect diplomatic sites and civilians.


Newsline: Kurdish protesters attack Iraqi embassy in London

Kurdish protesters staged a demonstration outside the Iraqi embassy in London as the country’s military continued its assault on the Kurdish city of Kirkuk in the north of Iraq. Protesters gathered outside the embassy on Monday afternoon as the Iraqi military closed in on the oil-rich region. In a video posted on social media, one protester can be seen hurling an object through a window. In another, a number of protesters can be seen kicking a door of the building, trying in vain to gain access. Monday’s military action saw troops take the city under Iraqi control in a matter of mere hours. Soldiers raised the Iraqi flag over key buildings in the city, following orders by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi that the flag be hoisted over Kirkuk and other areas under Kurdish control.


Newsline: Attack near Iraqi embassy in Kabul reported

A suicide bomber has attacked a police compound and the nearby Iraqi embassy in Kabul on Monday, security officials in the Afghan capital say. Sources tell Al Jazeera that fighters are holed up in a building close to the Iraqi embassy in Shar-e-Naw and a gun battle is under way. “We heard two explosions near the Iraqi embassy and part of the building has been damaged,” Mohsen Negaresh, a witness, told Al Jazeera. Police confirmed the blast had taken place, but said they did not immediately have further information. The attack comes a week after at least 35 people were killed in a suicide attack on government workers in Kabul and underlines the precarious security in Afghanistan as the US administration considers an overhaul of its policy in the region.


Newsline: US embassy in Iraq reports threat against Baghdad hotels

The U.S. embassy in Baghdad said on Monday it has limited the movement of its personnel after receiving “credible threats of possible attacks on hotels frequented by Westerners”. “As a reminder, U.S. citizens should maintain a heightened sense of security awareness and take appropriate measures to enhance their personal security at all times when living and working in Iraq,” an emergency security message for U.S. citizens on the embassy’s website said. It did not give details on the nature of threat. U.S. authorities advise citizens to avoid travelling to Iraq citing the risk of being kidnapped by armed political groups or criminal gangs and bombings by the group Islamic State.


Newsline: French Consular Staff Busted for Visa Scam

Ties between France and the Kurdistan Region have never been stronger as evidenced by President Francois Hollande’s recent historic visit to Erbil and Paris’ military support of the Kurds. Yet amid flourishing diplomacy, the French consulate in Erbil is facing its biggest scandal yet: a corruption ring that allegedly involved a high-level diplomat. Employees at the French consulate in Erbil are facing charges of corruption that involved scamming Iraqis by pressing them to pay thousands of dollars for visas and embassy appointments. “It’s true, consular employees were redirecting applicants to travel agencies who would charge them ridiculous prices for appointments and visas,” Alain Guépratte, the French consul-general to the Kurdistan Region told Rudaw. Guépratte said he did not have sufficient evidence to call in French inspectors until late February. Deputy Consul-General Ludovic Francelle has been suspended for one year pending a criminal tribunal ahead of a trial. The Foreign Ministry would not comment on his exact role in the scam. Meanwhile, two Kurdish employees have been fired charging huge premiums on visas that should only cost €60. French media reported that some Iraqis paid $600 for an initial appointment and $800-$1,700 for a visa. They also paid for the agent to fill out an application. Generally, those wanting an appointment immediately would have to pay more. The European Union visa is one of the most coveted and difficult visas for Iraqis to obtain. Although they have an easier time traveling internationally now than in the past, it still can be difficult for Iraqis and other citizens of poor, war-torn countries such as Syria to obtain visas from western and Arab countries that fear they might seek asylum. Following an investigation by the Kurdish intelligence service, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) officials reported that people may have been paying upwards of $10,000.