Darbandikhan residents protest curfew, say they need to work or get government relief


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SULAIMANI — A group of several dozen residents, shop owners, and workers protested in Darbandikhan on Monday night (June 1) against the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) decision to reimpose a coronavirus curfew.

Speaking to an NRT reporter at the rally in front of the municipal office, some of the protesters said that they were could not afford to stay at home because they relied on a daily income in order to make ends meet.

They urged the government to provide some kind of relief so that people in their situation could afford to follow the curfew regulations and stay home, adding that they had made similar calls over the past several months but that the government has done nothing to help them.

There were similar protests in Ranya and Qaladze as well.

On Monday, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Interior imposed a new coronavirus curfew, which will last until June 6. The decision was made after a spike in coronavirus cases in the Region, including 101 new cases in Sulaimani on Sunday.

The protest was held in defiance of the order, which imposes a lockdown between 6 p.m. and 12 a.m.

The Kurdistan Region is under increasing financial strain with the restrictions related to the coronavirus outbreak primarily affecting private sector workers and the KRG’s budget woes leaving public sector workers wondering if the government will be able to make payroll. Senior officials have said that the government essentially has no cash reserves.

As a result, the government’s ability to meet the demands of the protesters to provide relief is limited.

(NRT Digital Media)

This story was updated at 11:29 p.m. EBL