Duhok journalists, activists were subject to unfair trial: Amnesty
Zhyan News Network
SULAIMANI – Amnesty International on Friday (February 26) denounced “unfair trial” of Duhok’s activists and journalists, saying the men were sentenced to prison based on "trumped-up charges."
On February 16, the Branch 2 of Erbil’s Criminal Court sentenced five journalists and activists to six in prison, sparking outrage on social media and human rights activists.
The rights organization called for “immediate release” of the activists and journalists, saying prison sentences were issued following an “unfair trial” based on trumped-up charges.
“The five journalists are now on hunger strike as they await the appeal verdict expected to take place by 16 March. They must be immediately and unconditionally released,” Amnesty said.
The Amnesty International
sent a letter to Dindar Zebari, the KRG's Coordinator for International Advocacy, saying “I urge you to immediately and unconditionally release Sherwan Sherwani, Guhdar Zebari, Hariwan Issa, Ayaz Karam and Shvan Saeed, immediately take all steps to ensure their unjust conviction is overturned.”
Over a score of journalists, activists and political opposition figures are held in jails under the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) jurisdiction in Duhok governorate without charge or trial for periods ranging from several weeks to a year.
“We strongly hope that the Kurdish authorities will choose to support the important role of journalists in contributing to the society in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq at this pivotal moment.”