Detained Youth Activist Released in Iraq as Protests Continue
Posted on: Tuesday, April 26, 2011
MADRE received the great news from our partner in Iraq, Yanar Mohammed, that Firas Ali, one of the pro-democracy youth activists who had been detained, was finally released yesterday. Firas Ali and Alaa Nabil, both activists affiliated with MADRE's partner organization, the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq, were detained and tortured because of their role in organizing protests over the past months in Iraq.
Yanar Mohammed, the leader of OWFI, and Alaa Nabil were both featured in this BBC segment on the protests in Iraq. Click here to watch.
Firas Ali Released
After almost two weeks of detention, Firas Ali was released from Muthanna Airport prison, on the evening of Monday, 25 April.
Iraqi armed forces arrested Firas Ali on April 13 without presenting an arrest warrant, after raiding the hall where he was meeting with other members of the February 25 Group, while planning for their ongoing peaceful demonstration at Tahrir square.
Firas was seen in with visible injuries and swelling of the face while in custody by other detained demonstrators on April 14th.
Since the arrest of Alaa Nabil, the meeting place of the youth group within the FWCUI/OWFI headquarters has been being monitored by police and intelligence, and the demonstration organizers have been under close surveillance, both there and during the demonstrations at Tahrir Square.
OWFI and FWCUI extend their thanks to all the organizations who joined in the campaign to release Alaa Nabil and Firas Ali. Your letters and faxes of alarm have pressured the authorities into releasing the two youth activists.
Your solidarity will not allow the authorities to turn Iraq into a police state.
We will not allow another dictator to prevail in Iraq.
Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq, president OWFI
Federation of Workers' Councils and Unions in Iraq FWCUI