Kurdish intellectuals slam prominent
editor's sentence in Iraqi Kurdistan
Kurdistan region 'Iraq', —
Sentencing and fining a Kurdish prominent
intellectual, Farhad Pirbal, entailed support
campaigns for the scholar in some areas across the
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 [Wêran]
“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.
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
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
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
“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
The sentenced scholar will be under supervision for
three years, during which any charge brought against
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
Omar urged all the civil society organizations and
the intellectual segment of the society to “unite
voices” to defend the scholars against “such
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
He also accused the court of “violating the
journalism freedom laws” and “slandering the
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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