Iraqi court issues arrest warrants for Kurdish referendum organizers

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-11 21:59:03|Editor: liuxin
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BAGHDAD, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- An Iraqi court on Wednesday issued arrest warrants for the Kurdish organizers of the independence referendum on the Kurdistan region on Sept. 25.

"The Court of Inquiry for Risafa (eastern Baghdad) issued arrest warrants for the chairman and members of the electoral commission supervising the referendum in the Kurdistan region," Abdul Sattar al-Biraqdar, spokesman for Iraq's Supreme Judicial Council, said in a statement.

The court order was based on a request from the National Security Council, headed by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi who made the complaint against the electoral commission.

On Sept. 18, the Iraqi Federal Court issued a verdict to stop the independence referendum in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, just a week before the referendum.

But on Sept. 25, the Iraqi Kurds defied the order by holding as scheduled a referendum on the independence of their region and some disputed areas claimed by both Baghdad and the Kurdish region.

Though some 93 percent of voters voted "yes" for independence, the Iraqi central government rejected the referendum as "unconstitutional."

On Tuesday, Abadi reaffirmed Baghdad's stance "not to discuss the referendum with anyone or negotiate before it is cancelled."

"We cannot stand with arms folded in front of attempts to break up the country's unity. Any dialogue should be based on Iraq's unity, the constitution and the rejection of the referendum," Abadi said.

The independence referendum was opposed by many countries because it would threaten the integrity of Iraq and undermine fight against Islamic State militants.

In addition, neighboring countries such as Turkey, Iran and Syria see that such step as a threat to their own territorial integrity, as a large population of Kurds live in those countries.