Shaswar Abdulwahid

Shaswar Abdulwahid (Sorani Kurdish: شاسوار عەبدولواحید‎; born 2 December 1978 in Slemani, Kurdistan region, is a businessman-turned-politician,[1] leader of Naway Nwe movement and the founder of NRT media.[2]

Shaswar Abdulwahid Qadir
شاسوار عەبدولواحید
Born2 December 1978
NationalityIraqi
OccupationFounder of NRT News chairman and founder of the new generation movement
Years active2010–present
Known forPolitician and entrepreneur
Notable work
Gundi Almani (German Village), Chavi land (Amusement Park), New Generation Movement (Kurdistan),NRT, and Kurd News TV Channel
TelevisionNRT News
Political party Naway Nwe movement
Spouse(s)Shoxan
Children3
FamilySrwa Abdulwahid (sister)
Websitehttps://shaswar.net/default.aspx

Media and business empireEdit

In 2007, Abdulwahid established Nalia Company, which first invested in real estate starting with housing projects such as German Village 1, 2, and 3, Nali City, and then others (Kurdcity 1 and 2). Following the success of those projects, he turned into media. In 2010, he established Nalia Media Company, which now has four satellite channels in Kurdish NRT News (NRT, NRT2, NRT3, and NRT4). Another channel, NRT Arabic, was also a successful TV station until in October 2019, during the anti-government protests in Baghdad, its offices were ransacked by an armed group and forced off-air. In 2013, he launched Chavy Land amusement project in Sulaimani, which is a major tourism hotspot for locals and visitors. NRT TV NRT News has faced multiple threats including burning down its HQ in Sulaimani in 2011 following the anti-government demonstrations (only three days following its launch).

Kurdistan referendum 2017Edit

Abdulwahid entered politics in 2017, during the Kurdistan Region's independence referendum. Shaswar launched a "No for now" campaign to explain the economic and political risks of a "Yes" vote in the 2017 Kurdistan Region independence referendum,[3] despite being branded a traitor by his political adversaries[4] for voicing concerns held by international community.[5] He called the referendum as "an excuse by Kurdish leaders to remain in power".[6]

New Generation MovementEdit

In 2018, Abdulwahid established the New Generation Movement List to take part in the Iraqi and local parliamentary elections. The List was able to secure four seats in Iraq's Council of Representatives in May 2018 and eight seats in Kurdistan Parliament in the regional elections in September 2018. With these achievements, the New Generation became the fourth largest group amongst 40 political parties in the Kurdistan Parliament. Abdulwahid has been arrested three times since the referendum in 2017: at the end of 2017, he was accused of inciting demonstrations; in March 2019, he was accused of insulting government employees; and, in May 2019, he was accused of misusing mobile technologies. He and his supporters have argued that these arrests were politically motivated, noting that he has had prominent companies, businesses, and TV channels since 2007 but was not never arrested until 2017 when he became an influential political player on the side of the opposition. Abdulwahid's New Generation now has an outspoken opposition group in the Kurdistan Parliament, which constantly monitors the works of the government and offer serious feedback and criticism on the political system in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.[7]

ArrestEdit

New Generation Movement leader Shaswar Abdulwahid appeared in court in Sulaimani on 3 March 2019 and arrested after being summoned on charges related to Articles 229 and 434 of the Iraqi penal code.[8] Shaswar had been previously arrested in 2017 for backing protests.[9] He and his supporters have argued that these arrests were politically motivated, noting that he has had prominent companies, businesses, and TV channels since 2007 but was never arrested until 2017 when he became an influential political player on the side of the opposition.[10]

Assassination attemptEdit

Abdulwahid survived an assassination attempt but was injured in his leg in October 2013 before entering political life. At that time, Abdulwahid said, "I am not a politician or a famous figure in politics in Kurdistan region of Iraq. I have no private connections with any politicians or political parties, the only reason that they wanted to kill me is my ownership of NRT TV, as we have been facing many other terrible events in the past three years".[11][12][13]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "10 Qs: PUK candidate confident party will perform well in election". Rudaw. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  2. ^ Diehl, Jackson. "Opinion | Why a referendum won't solve Iraqi Kurdistan's problems". Washington Post. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  3. ^ "Rich tycoon takes on Iraqi Kurdish leaders over independence". Reuters. 12 September 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Rich tycoon takes on Iraqi Kurdish leaders over independence". Reuters. 12 September 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  5. ^ Coles, Isabel; Nabhan, Ali (24 September 2017). "With Kurds Set to Vote on Independence, a Lone Dissenter Sounds Alarm". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Referendum to Put Iraqi Kurdistan Region Stability at Risk". Tasnim News Agency. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  7. ^ "founder". NRT. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  8. ^ "Sulaimani judge orders arrest of New Generation leader Abdulwahid". Rudaw. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  9. ^ "Three people killed as protests turn violent again in Iraqi Kurdistan". Reuters. 19 December 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  10. ^ "founder". NRT. 25 March 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  11. ^ Avenue, Committee to Protect Journalists 330 7th; York, 11th Floor New; Ny 10001. "Mountain of impunity looms over Kurdistan journalists". cpj.org. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  12. ^ Reuter, Christoph (22 September 2017). "Kurden-Referendum im Irak: "Der einzige Ausweg liegt im Kampf"". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  13. ^ "Freedom of the Press at a Crossroads in Iraqi Kurdistan". Retrieved 10 January 2014.