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 Kurdish intellectuals slam prominent editor's sentence in Iraqi Kurdistan 

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Kurdish intellectuals slam prominent editor's sentence in Iraqi Kurdistan  24.12.2010

December 24, 2010

ERBIL/SULAIMANIYAH, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — Sentencing and fining a Kurdish prominent intellectual, Farhad Pirbal, entailed support campaigns for the scholar in some areas across the Kurdistan Region.

After a protest campaign against the verdict in Sulaimaniyah city, the writers and journalists from Soran, 56 km north east of the Kurdistan Capital Erbil also staged a campaign to defend the scholar.

Erbil’s Misdemeanor Court sentenced Monday the chief editor for the Kurdish [W
êran] “Wreckage” magazine to six-month imprisonment (lightened to three years of supervision) and a fine of 5,000,000 Iraqi Dinars (IQD)- over 47,000 U.S. Dollars, due from the magazine.

Pirbal in turn accused the court of being “unjust” and called on the Kurdistan public to speak up against “restricting scholars’ freedom of speech.” 

Weran “Wreckage” is a modern Kurdish magazine of language and literature, which chief editor is Dr. Farhad Pirbal, one of the prominent academics in Iraqi Kurdistan. Aras Publisher prints the magazine every two months.
Iron Omar, a writer and journalist from Soran town was of the opinion that there is a “tendency to adapt law to curb freedom of speech, a tendency sourcing from justice institutions.”

Wreckage put up in its sixth issue an “erotic 800 years old story” written by a Tunisian Islamic intellectual, which was translated from Swedish to Kurdish. The story was sent to the magazine and published to illustrate for the public “what erotic literature is”. The story had already been published in 70 Arabic and Islamic countries before the magazine put it out and “no one was accused for it,” Pirbal told AK news in earlier reports.

Wreckage issues every two months caricatures and subjects related to arts, literature and society.

Omar described such attempts against scholars and literati as “uncivilized attempts efforts to impede democratization and opening of the Kurdish community.”

“The courts sit in ambush for the scholars,” Omar criticized the justice in the sentence for Pirbal, “What is the logic in lightening a six-month detention to three years of banning from writing freely.”

The sentenced scholar will be under supervision for three years, during which any charge brought against his writings,
www.ekurd.netwill lead to the enforcement of the half year detention.

She blamed the related bodies for “defacing” the image of Kurdistan in front of the outside world and Kurdish supporters and “holding back a bright future for Kurdistan”.

Omar urged all the civil society organizations and the intellectual segment of the society to “unite voices” to defend the scholars against “such humiliation.”

A young journalist from Soran, Jabbar Ali, “mocked” the justice against the scholar.

He said sarcastically “hundreds are involved in financial corruption in Kurdistan, in looting, wasting and monopolizing the public wealth, while the General Attorney turns a blind eye on all of them.”

He also accused the court of “violating the journalism freedom laws” and “slandering the scholars.”

Arresting or trying a scholar for a translated work is not “right”, Ismeal Shmazini said, labeling the authority that suppresses literati as “a dictatorship system,” which does not enjoy support at the modern age.

He urged the court to review the sentence according to the journalism laws.


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