Attack on Kurdish diaspora in Paris draws local, international outrage

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — The Friday attack on a Kurdish cultural center, which targeted the Kurdish diaspora in France, caused international and local outrage.

In the attack, three Kurdish people, originally from northern Kurdistan (southeastern Turkey), were killed and three others injured, according to witnesses and prosecutors.

The attack was perpetrated by a 69-year-old gunman on Ahmet Kaya Cultural Centre in the 10th district of Paris, an area crowded with shops and restaurants and populated by many Kurds in the capital.

The criminal was described by police as white and a French national, and was previously charged with racist violence.

Following the attack, before entering a hairdressing salon, the assailant was arrested.

Among the victims is the popular Kurdish musician Mir Perwer, originally from the Kurdish town of Varto in Turkey’s Mus province. He took exile after being sentenced by the Turkish government in the last recent years.

Following the attack, French President Emmanuel Macron responded to the tragedy, saying the Kurds of France have been the target of “a heinous attack in the heart of Paris,” adding that their thoughts are with the victims and their families.

President of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani expressed his condolences to the families of the victims, calling on the French government to “bring justice to the victims and their families.”

Masrour Barzani, the Kurdistan Region’s Prime Minister said in a tweet he was “deeply troubled by the heinous attack” on the Kurds in Paris, calling on the Kurdish diaspora to “exercise restraint.”

“I trust our French partners will spare no effort to protect the Kurdish communities across the country and bring the perpetrators to justice,” Barzani added.

General Commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Mazloum Abdi said the attack against the Kurdish diaspora in Paris “targets the Kurdish cause and must be condemned,” adding that they are confident that the French President and judiciary will reveal the attackers.

The attack came almost 10 years after the murder of three Kurdish women activists in Paris in January 2013, including a co-founder of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The London-based Kurdish People’s Assembly released a statement calling the Paris attack an “organized political massacre,” urging the international community to “understand these incidents as part of Turkey’s comprehensive policies of regression and genocide against the Kurds.”

The statement added that Kurds in Britain will gather on Saturday in front of the French Embassy in London to protest the “brutal attack” and demand collaboration between the UK, EU and France to ensure the protection of the Kurdish diaspora living in Europe.

Last updated on December 25, 2022, 2:00 p.m. 

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