The Iraqi Kurdistan branch of the Community Peacmaker Teams (CPT), an international network set up to support teams of peace workers in conflict areas across the world, announced on Thursday that the public prosecutor’s office in Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) finally agreed to free five activists who had earlier been denied release despite a court decision.
Five activists named Kovan Tariq, Yousif Shareef, Nechir Badih, Mahmood Naji, and Amjad Yousif, also referred to as the ‘Shiladze prisoners’, were sentenced to 19 months in prison over accusations that they had ‘encouraged people to join violent demonstrations, to create armed groups, and provide support for the Kurdistan’s Worker’s Party (PKK).’
CPT Iraqi Kurdistan branched condemned on Wednesday the decision not to release the five despite a court order for their conditional release.
On Thursday, it was announced in a brief statement by CPT:
“This morning, CPT Iraqi Kurdistan team, alongside with the Badinan volunteer lawyers, visited the head of KRG [Kurdistan Regional Government] Public Prosecution. After a two-hour negotiation, he decided to confirm the conditional release for the five activist Shiladze prisoners. All five are scheduled for release after Eid al-Adha.”