Erbil police arrests well-known Kurdish university lecturer for public insult

Footage of Pirbal verbally harassing and insulting people of various ethnic backgrounds on the streets of the Kurdistan Region’s capital circulated on Kurdish social media networks.
author_image Sangar Ali

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Farhad Pirbal, a Kurdish intellectual, was arrested for insulting people in public in Erbil, local police said on Sunday.

Police forces picked up Pirbal, a writer and university lecturer, on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. following complaint issued by Erbil’s Public Prosecutor, the General-Director of Erbil Police, Abdulkhaliq Talaat, told Kurdistan 24.

Footage of Pirbal verbally harassing and insulting people of various ethnic backgrounds on the streets of the Kurdistan Region’s capital circulated on Kurdish social media networks. In some videos, Pirbal is seen slapping people in the face.

“He is in jail right now. We arrested him after we received a complaint issued by the public prosecutor,” Talaat said.

He mentioned that this is not the writer’s first offense, with police and security having previously witnessed Pirbal’s use of offense language and erratic behavior in public. They could not arrest him at the time as no complaints were made against him in court.

The Police official noted that an investigation has been launched, and doctors will rule on Pirbal’s psychological state, explaining that assurances on his condition should be given before he is released and returns to class. “The court will ultimately make the final decision.”

Born in Erbil in 1961, Pirbal graduated from Sulaimani University in 1984. He traveled to Germany and Denmark, where he stayed for two years.

He has published over 70 books and finished his Ph.D. in Modern Kurdish literature at the Paris-Sorbonne University in 1994. Currently, he is a lecturer at Salahaddin University in Erbil.

Editing by Nadia Riva