Posted on July 11, 2016 by Editorial Staff in National
Walid Younis Ahmed jailed in Iraqi Kurdistan. Photo: Amnesty
HEWLÊR-Erbil, Kurdistan region ‘Iraq’,— Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) gave a response on Sunday to Amnesty International’s call for the release of Walid Younis Ahmed, who was due to be released on March 6, 2015.
Dindar Zebari, the head of the KRG’s Foreign Relations Department for International Organizations, told NRT Ahmed was one of the “main creators” of the Ansar al-Islam organization, which was established in Iraq in 2001.
“He was in Afghanistan for a period and met with Osama bin Laden, leader of al-Qaeda,” Zebari said. “He was then instructed with some other people to establish Ansar al-Islam, which was an extremist organization that killed thousands of civilians.”
“Walid Younis is one of the terrorists who poses a threat to the security and stability of the Kurdistan Region and security institutions should take all measures before he is released,” Zebari added.
Amnesty International said in a statement that the organization had called on the KRG twice, in May 2015 and March 2016, to clarify his continued detention. He was arrested in February 2000 and was held in prison without charge until 2010, amnesty added.
According to the statement, Ahmed has been held in the Zirga prison in the city of Duhok for more than a year after his prison sentence was completed in March 2015.
“He is being arbitrarily detained and must be released,” Amnesty International stated.
Zebari said a Duhok criminal court sentenced Ahmed to five years for “sending instruction from prison to his followers in Kirkuk and Mosul to carry out terrorist attacks in Duhok.”
The KRG official said Ahmed also played a role in a car bomb explosion in the town of Bashiqa in 2013, where a number of civilians were killed.
“Walid Younis was again accused of involvement in the terrorist act in Bashiqa according to term 4 of Article 2 of the Kurdistan Region’s counter-terrorism law on July 7, 2014,” Zebari said. “The families of the victims in Bashiqa filed a lawsuit against him and they are now waiting for the court’s decision on the case.”