U.S. citizen released after being held in Iraq on ‘baseless’ charges

An American has been released by Iraqi authorities after being detained for 11 weeks in Erbil, several sources told The National.

Sources connected to Iran-backed militias in Iraq reported earlier this week that a dual-national citizen, named SF Shaker, had been arrested for allegedly working with the CIA. Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council confirmed his release on Thursday after requesting information.

Anwar Al Zamani, who writes under the pseudonym Mr Shaker, was arrested on August 13 in the Kurdish capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous region at the request of Iraq’s federal government in Baghdad.

Security reasons prevent him from being named completely.

Sources close to the case say charges of extortion and espionage against Mr Shaker were unfounded and that he was investigating judicial corruption.

A source said the claim that he was spying—an offence that can result in execution—was “totally groundless”.

Authorities became wary of Mr Shaker because he inquired about the Supreme Judicial Council’s influence in forming a government in October, which has issued a number of key rulings this year favourable to Iran-affiliated parties.


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