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Dr. Kamal Sayid Qadir released in Kurdistan today
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Dr. Kamal Sayid Qadir released in
Kurdistan today 25.1.2006
Dr Kamal Said Qadir, Austrian citizen, an
international legal expert, writer and human rights
VIENNA, Jan 25, 2006
sentenced to 25 years in prison for libel in Iraqi
Kurdistan has been released, the Austrian foreign
ministry said Wednesday in a statement.
"After being held for more than two months, news of
Dr. Kamal Sayid Qadir's release is a great relief
and very good news for him and his family," Austrian
Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik said in the
The 48-year old lawyer of Kurdish origin was
convicted on December 19 by a court in Erbil in the
northern Iraqi region of Kurdistan for "defamation
against the Kurdish government."
He had been arrested in October for writing articles
criticising regional president Massoud Barzani.
The human rights organization Reporters without
Borders called for Qadir's release,www.ekurd.net saying "this
incident bodes ill for freedom of expression in
Iraq's Kurdish region."
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari informed
Austrian special envoy to Iraq Gudrun Harrer
Wednesday of the lawyer's release.
"This shows that the decision to have Austrian
representation in Baghdad was right," Plassnik said.
With Harrer's presence on the ground since January
1, "we can effectively protect the interests of
Austria and Austrian citizens," she added.
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