UK says ‘concerned’ about journalist Guhdar Zebari’s ongoing hunger strike

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SULAIMANI (ESTA) —  The United Kingdom on Thursday said “concerned” about Kurdish journalist Guhdar Zebari’s ongoing hunger strike in detention in Erbil prison.  

“The UK is deeply concerned about journalist Guhdar Zebari’s ongoing hunger strike in detention. We are monitoring this closely, including the date set for his hearing on 1 October,” The UK consulate general in Erbil on X said, formerly known as Twitter

The family of journalist Zebari reports that he has been on a hunger strike for 16 days, and his physical condition is worsening. He has lost a considerable amount of weight and looks unwell as a result.

Zebari was initially sentenced to six years in prison in Feb. 2021 by a criminal court of the Kurdistan Region on alleged charges of destabilizing the security and stability of the Region.

A presidential decision later president reduced his term by 60%, which set his release date for March 16, 2023.

August this year a new case was opened against him just one day before his scheduled release, which resulted in a seven-month sentence.

Zebari immediately appealed against this decision, the sentence was only reduced to five months and his next hearing is scheduled for Oct. 1.

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