Yasser Eljuboori: Two additional charges brought against Irish citizen in Iraq

Baghdad court says, contrary to expectations, man not be permitted to leave

Two additional charges have been brought against Irish citizen Yasser Eljuboori who has been detained in Iraq since last week.

Mr Eljuboori (37) was detained by Iraqi police at Baghdad airport in the early hours of last Monday as he was getting a flight back to Ireland after visiting his mother, who is sick.

Mr Eljuboori, who has almost 75,000 followers on X, has been a persistent critic of corruption within the Iraqi government.

A statement released on Thursday by the London based-Doughty Street Chambers, the firm representing Mr Eljuboori, said Iraq’s charges against him had been dropped and he would be released on bail.


However, it said Iraqi authorities had retained Mr Eljuboori’s passport and that there would be “two to three days of paperwork” to complete before he would be allowed to leave the country and return home to his family in Dublin.

In a further update on Monday morning, the firm said Mr Eljuboori was informed by a Baghdad court that, contrary to expectations, he would not be permitted to leave Iraq and return home to his family in Dublin, Ireland.

Mr Eljuboori and his domestic legal team were informed by the court that two additional charges under Article 226 of the Penal Code, concerning his social media posts in which he raised corruption concerns, had been filed against him by the Chair of the National Investment Commission and the Mayor of Baghdad.

No specific information of the charges has been provided, the firm said, but article 226 criminalises “any person who publicly insults” public authorities or officials.

As of Monday morning, one set of the new charges is likely to fall away, the statement said, after the Chair of the National Investment Commission confirmed to the court he did not wish to proceed with his charges against Mr Eljuboori.

The position in relation to the Mayor of Baghdad remains unknown.

Mr Eljuboori is now prevented from leaving Iraq. There will be a further court hearing on Tuesday.

Speaking on Monday morning from her home in Balgriffin, Dublin, Mr Eluboori’s wife Laura Wickham said the past week has been “a rollercoaster of emotions”.

“The initial confusion at Yasser’s disappearance; the terror as I learned the news of his arrest, detention and criminal charges brought against him by the prime minister; the relief when he was released; and now despair at these latest developments,” she said.

“This feels like a cruel game, an ongoing torment playing with Yasser’s freedom.”

She said: “Our children miss their dad and I miss my husband. I call on the Iraqi authorities to allow Yasser to return home. Every additional day and hour that he spends in Baghdad puts him at risk of further bogus charges.”

Caoilfhionn Gallagher KC, international counsel to Ms Wickham said: “It is particularly cruel that Mr Eljuboori was informed that all charges were dropped and that he would be going home within days, when in fact new charges were being prepared behind the scenes which would keep him trapped in Baghdad, unable to return home to his family.”

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers is a reporter for The Irish Times