Erbil court issues arrest warrant for Gorran leader

On Thursday, Erbil court ordered to arrest Nawshirwan Mustafa, the Leader of Change (Gorran), the second largest party in the Kurdistan Region after Mustafa failed to appear in a court.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) - On Thursday, Erbil court issued an arrest warrant for the prominent politician Nawshirwan Mustafa, after he failed to appear in a court following the complaints filed against him.

On June 2, public prosecutor summoned the leader of Gorran, the second largest party in the Kurdistan Region, to appear in a court because of the complaints filed against him.

Speaking to Kurdistan24, Sameh Osman, president of Erbil Court of Appeals, previously stated that the decision to prosecute Nawshirwan Mustafa, general coordinator of Gorran, might be taken very soon.

“On the case of (Mustafa’s) video/voice that has been published on media, the public prosecutor registered a complaint [in court] against Nawshirwan Mustafa,” Osman said.

In 2015, a media outlet affiliated with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the largest party in the Kurdistan Region, published voice recordings of Mustafa asking his followers to launch attacks on the headquarters of consulates of foreign countries and oil companies in the Kurdistan Region.

Following the court's order, the official spokesperson of Gorran, Shorish Haji, said at a press conference in Sulaimani that the court's decision is unfair.

"We condemn the court's arrest warrant for Nawshirwan Mustafa. The decision is politically driven, and courts in Kurdistan are not independent," Haji said.

He claimed the voice recording was fabricated by KDP to accuse Mustafa. 

Gorran was founded in 2009 as an official opposition party to the two-party coalition of the KDP and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) that governed the Kurdistan Region.

Gorran started to participate in the Kurdistan Region Government (KRG) in 2013 after winning 24 seats out of 111 parliament seats. They became Kurdistan Region’s second-largest party following KDP that gained 38 seats.

Recently, Gorran and PUK signed a bilateral agreement to unite in the Kurdistan Region Parliament to pursue common political agendas.


Editing by Ava Homa