Kurd Region Govt frees detained New Generation leader
Northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) on Wednesday released Shaswar Abdulwahid, a leader of the New Generation movement, after nine days of detention, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.
Abdulwahid was detained last week for organizing and participating in anti-corruption protests in the city of Sulaymaniyah.
"I continue to have the utmost respect for all those protesters still in detention," the movement leader said in a statement issued following his release.
He went on to voice hope that the demonstrations would continue despite the KRG’s efforts to suppress them.
The New Generation movement came to prominence after campaigning against the KRG’s illegitimate Sept. 25 referendum on regional independence.
Last week, two political parties -- Gorran and Komal -- withdrew from the Erbil-based KRG in a show of support for the protests in Sulaymaniyah.
One of the Kurdish region’s largest cities, Sulaymaniyah -- where both parties are based -- was rocked by demonstrations last week by civil servants demanding payment of overdue salaries and an end of perceived government corruption.
The KRG has remained in crisis since late September, when it insisted -- despite widespread regional and international opposition -- on holding a popular referendum on regional independence.
In the immediate wake of the poll, federal forces moved into parts of Iraq "disputed" between Baghdad and Erbil, including the oil-rich Kirkuk province.
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