Asayish (Kurdistan Region)

Asayîş or Asayish (Kurdish for security[1]) is the Kurdish security 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 an "intelligence agency",[3] "security force",[3] "security service",[4] "security",[5] "secret service",[6] "secret police",[7] or just "Kurdish police."[3] Asayesh coordinates and shares information with Parastin u Zanyari, the investigative arms and intelligence gatherers operating in the Kurdistan region in Iraq.

Kurdistan Asayish
Asayîşa Herêma Kurdistanê
ئاساییشی هەرێمی کوردستان
Agency overview
Formed1992; 30 years ago (1992)
HeadquartersErbil, Duhok and Sulaymaniyah
Employees10000+ - 12000+
Agency executive
  • Dr.Khasraw gull Esmat Argushi
Parent agencyKurdistan Region Security Council

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:

The organization has jurisdiction over:


In 2009 Amnesty International accused Asayesh of abusing human rights, including torture and other ill-treatment, 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 alsoEdit


  1. ^ Miller, Judith (1993-01-03). "Iraq Accused: A Case of Genocide". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
  2. ^ a b Mew
  3. ^ a b c "Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)". Archived from the original on 2007-10-21. Retrieved 2008-01-03.
  4. ^ McNair, James (2006-07-03). "Gary Trotter: My Life In Media". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on July 14, 2006. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
  5. ^ Mounting social crisis in Kurdish Iraq
  6. ^ Shadid, Anthony; Fainaru, Steve. "Militias Wresting Control Across Iraq's North and South". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
  7. ^ "A detour with Kurdish secret police |The Agonist". Archived from the original on 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2008-01-03.
  8. ^ "Iraq: Hope and fear: Human rights in the Kurdistan region of Iraq". Amnesty International. 2009-04-20. Archived from the original on 17 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-14.
  9. ^ "Statement in response to Amnesty International Report". Kurdistan Regional Government. 2009-04-20. Retrieved 2009-04-20.