ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Iranian government on Wednesday exchanged tens of prisoners, who had been arrested and sentenced for various crimes.
According to the agreement, the KRG is to hand over 20 sentenced Iranian nationals to Tehran, most of whom were arrested in possession of narcotics, in exchange of five individuals from the Kurdistan Region arrested in Iran.
“The prisoners will continue to serve their sentence in their respective countries. This makes it easier for their families and relatives to visit them,” Ahmed Najmaldin, the head of the KRG delegation handling the prisoner exchanges, told Kurdistan 24 on Wednesday at the Haji Omaran International Border Crossing.
He mentioned that the deal was based on the Iraqi Parliament’s law No. 6, issued in 2014, which specifically relates to prisoners abroad.
“This is the third exchange of prisoners between the Kurdistan Region and Iran,” Najmaldin said.
The Kurdish official added that the exchanges must be voluntary, at the “will and desire of the prisoner.”
The Kurdish autonomous region and Iran maintain strong economic ties, with the border trade amounting to a significant part of the local economy.
Editing by Nadia Riva
(Additional reporting by Teyfur Mohammed)