Asayesh or Asayish (Kurdish for security[1]) is a Kurdish organization and the primary intelligence agency operating in the Kurdistan region in Iraq. The organization was established in September 1993[2] and has been often referred to as "intelligence agency" [3]., "security force",.[3] "security service",[4] "security police",[5] "secret service",[6] "secret police",[7] or just "Kurdish police",.[3] Asayesh coordinates and shares information with Parastin and Zaniyar, the investigative arms and intelligence gatherers operating in the Kurdistan region in Iraq.

It acts under the command of the Kurdish National Assembly and the Kurdistan Regional Government.[2]

Its official goals according to the Kurdistan authority are:

  • Counter-Drug trafficking
  • Counter-Terrorism
  • Counter-Espionage
  • Gathering intelligence
  • Assessing threats to Iraq’s national security

The organization has jurisdiction over:

Human Rights[edit | edit source]

Amnesty International accused Asayesh of abusing human rights and claimed that the agency was "above the law" in Iraqi Kurdistan.[8] The Kurdistan Regional Government criticized Amnesty by stating:

Most of the information provided in the report chronicles problems we had just after the fall of Saddam, when we were still subject to Saddam-era penal codes...Amnesty had a particular agenda and used dubious information, often very old, to paint an unrealistically harsh picture of the security forces in our Region by bringing up allegations of abuse at a prisons such as Aqra, which have long been closed.
—Kurdistan Regional Government[9]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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