Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) security forces and local police detained 32 unarmed protesters in Erbil on March 4, 2017, at a peaceful demonstration against recent clashes in Sinjar. According to three protesters who were arrested, 23 were released that same day, and three more within four days, but six, all foreign nationals, are still being held. A police chief ordered one protester who was released to permanently leave Erbil, where he was living.
Local media reported that on March 6, the Director General of Erbil Police, Abdulkhaliq Talaat, stated that the protesters “were arrested by a court order,” and would be released based on a court decision. He did not elaborate on the reasons for the arrests. No media coverage of the arrests alleged any use of violence or other acts that disrupted the peace.