Iraqi Kurdish political prisoner Ali Ahmad Suleiman has been released from Orumiyeh Central Prison in the morning of 22 February, after 15 years in prison.

He was reportedly transferred to the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs in Orumiyeh to be returned to Iraq.

Though Suleiman is expected to be returned to Iraq, it is not known whether he will be extradited.
“This morning, prison officials released Ali Ahmad Suleiman from prison. He has also been told that he will have to leave Iran immediately and that preparations for his return to Iraq are underway through the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs”, a source in Orumiyeh told the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN).

He was denied the right to temporary leave and visits throughout his imprisonment.

Ali Ahmad Suleiman was arrested by security forces on 17 November 2005 in the Targavar border area of Orumiyeh, and then sentenced to five years and six months by the Islamic Revolutionary Court of the city on charges of “membership in the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK)” and “illegal entry into the country”.

In 2012, Suleiman was tried again by Branch 1 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Orumiyeh on charges of “propaganda against the state” and sentenced to one year in prison for contacting the office of Ahmad Shahid, the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran, and foreign media.

During his imprisonment, the Iraqi Kurdish citizen faced another charge of killing two officers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Although this case was suspended, it was reopened at the end of his previous sentence by the Intelligence Organisation of the IRGC, and Ali Ahmad Suleiman was finally sentenced to two terms of “retribution in kind” in 2013. Although the sentence was turned into payment of blood money with the consent of the families of the victims, the political prisoner was sentenced to nine years and six months in prison for “murder”. The court later reduced the sentence by one-eighth.

During his imprisonment in Orumiyeh Central Prison, Ali Ahmad Suleiman was repeatedly transferred to the detention centre of the city’s intelligence office and interrogated and tortured. In one occasion, the political prisoner was transferred to Tabriz Central Prison on 4 February 2015, after carrying out a 33-day hunger strike in Orumiyeh. He was returned to Orumiyeh Central Prison on 18 January 2020.