Dara Tawfiq

Dara Tawfiq
Portrait of Dara Tawfiq sitting down, looking right
Born 1932
Disappeared November 1981 (age 49)
Baghdad, Iraq
Status presumed murdered
Nationality Iraqi Kurd
Occupation journalist, politician
Known for Editor of Iraqi-Kurdish newspaper Al-Taakhi

Dara Tawfiq (Kurdish: دارا توفيق‎‎; 1932 – November 1981) was a journalist and prominent member of the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) in the late 1960s and 1970s. An adviser to Kurdish leader Mustafa Barzani, he often acted as a conduit for the KDP's relations with the Soviet Union. Considered popular within the Kurdish nationalist movement, his writing focused on national liberation and peace movements.[1] In November 1981, following opposition to the Iran-Iraq war, Tawfiq was arrested and never seen again.


Tawfiq was born in 1932 in Sulaymaniyah. He studied civil engineering at Baghdad University, but was expelled for political activities and subsequently continued studies in Britain.[2]

In 1956, Tawfiq helped found the Kurdish Students' Society in Europe (KSSE) in Weisbaden.[3]

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Tawfiq worked in Budapest as a staff member at the secretariat of the World Federation of Democratic Youth.[2][4] At the 8th Congress of the KDP in 1970 he was elected to the party's central committee.[2]

In the early 1970s Tawfiq was the editor of the KDP's Arabic-language newspaper Al-Taakhi ("Brotherhood"), which earned praise as Iraq's only independent newspaper at that time.[5]

In February 1972, Tawfiq was selected to join a committee tasked with negotiations between the KDP and the Ba'ath Party on autonomy for the Kurds in Iraq following the peace agreement of 1970.[6] During the early to mid-1970s, Tawfiq was associated with the moderate faction of the KDP; those who accepted the autonomy law proposed by the Iraqi government and who sought Kurdish cultural and economic autonomy within the national framework of that time.[7]

Following the defeat and exile of the KDP in the Second Iraqi–Kurdish War, Tawfiq surrendered to the authorities and was given a position within the Iraqi government,[8] becoming director-general of the State Enterprise for River Transport by 1978.[9]

Tawfiq was opposed to the Iran-Iraq war, which started in 1980.[1] He was arrested by Iraqi security forces in November 1981 and was never seen again; he is presumed to have been executed.[1][8][10]


  1. ^ a b c Ghareeb, Edmund A.; Dougherty, Beth (2004). Historical Dictionary of Iraq. Scarecrow Press. p. 236. ISBN 978-0-8108-6568-6.
  2. ^ a b c "Dara Tawfiq". Kurdipedia (in Kurdish). Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  3. ^ "Students". Kurdish Facts and West-Asian Affairs. 9–10: 25. September–October 1961. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  4. ^ "Operational/ZRPENNY 8th World Youth Festival, 27 July - 5 August 1962" (PDF). CIA. 6 April 1962. p. 34. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  5. ^ "Iraq — Kurds without a press". Index on Censorship. 3 (3): 77. 1 September 1974. doi:10.1080/03064227408532353. ISSN 0306-4220.
  6. ^ Department Of State. The Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affairs. "303. Memorandum From the Director of Central Intelligence (Helms) to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Secretary Rogers, and Secretary Laird, Washington, March 31, 1972". 2001-2009.state.gov. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  7. ^ "Egyptian View of Kurdish Problem". State Department. 17 March 1974. Retrieved 18 February 2020 – via Wikileaks.
  8. ^ a b Bengio, Ofra (2012). The Kurds of Iraq: Building a State within a State. Boulder: Lynne Reinner Publishers. p. 157. ISBN 978-1-58826-836-5.
  9. ^ Middle East Economic Digest. Economic East Economic Digest, Limited. 1978. p. 25.
  10. ^ Anonymous (April 1984). "Repression in Iraq and Syria". Index on Censorship. 13 (2): 34–36. doi:10.1080/03064228408533703. ISSN 0306-4220.

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