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Exclusive: PUK deported escaped-Kurdish political prisoner to Iran

PUK deported escaped-Kurdish political prisoner to Iran
posted onApril 10, 2020

Security forces of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) arrested Mustafa Salimi an Iranian Kurdish political activist on Tuesday and deported him to Iran, one of Salimi’s family members told Avatoday.

The political prisoner managed to escape Iranian prison at the city of Saqez last month during a prison unrest, which occurred as fear of coronavirus outbreak raised among inmates.

He had reportedly escaped the country and sheltered in neighboring Iraqi Kurdistan.

PUK is one of the leading parties in Iraqi Kurdistan Region. The party is highly criticized for its close ties with Iran. 

“Mustafa managed to escape Saqez Prison and reached the Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s border city of Penjwen,” Salimi’s family member, who asked to remain anonymous, told Avatoday.

“Unfortunately, Mustafa was arrested three days ago by PUK security forces and then deported to Iran,” the source added.

Avatoday contacted its source inside PUK security forces and two separate sources confirmed the report on condition of anonymity.

According to the family member, security officials in Saqez informed the family to visit Salimi “for the last time because his death sentence is already scheduled.”

PUK has been also accused previously of helping Iran to defy US sanctions on Tehran. The party has also been accused of deporting dozens of Iranian Kurdish activists to Iran in the past.

PUK deported escaped-Kurdish political prisoner to Iran