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Erbil court issues arrest warrant for Sweden-based journalist

  2021-06-04  | 
 Zhyan News Network
File Photo - Sweden-based journalist Rebwar Karim Wali
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – Erbil Investigative Court has issued an arrest warrant for Sweden-based journalist Rebwar Karim Wali on charges of stirring up people to break a coronavirus-related lockdown imposed by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) last year. 

“If people get out of home, all the myths will be defused. Go to your daily life. If you are healthy, do your jobs,” Wali said in March 2020 during a curfew imposed by the KRG purportedly to curb the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the Kurdistan Region. 

“If you feel disappointed and unhealthy, stay at home as usual. Do not approach anybody until you will recover,” he said at the time. 

Wali accused the KRG at the time to seize upon the lockdown for its ends.

The warrant was issued on May 17 in accordance with article 2 of the Communication Device Misuse laws, as well as it has demanded the journalist’s credentials from the Kurdistan Journalist Syndicate.

“The arrest warrant is illegal and unrelated to the article I have written,” he told Zhyan News Network on Friday.

Wali worked at several media outlets including Rudaw Media Network close to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (KDP). 

The Kurdistan Region come under scrutiny for deteriorating state of freedom of the press and expression, especially regarding the case of five convicted journalists and activists from Duhok’s Badinan, after they were sentenced to six years in prison in February over controversial charges amounting to undermining the stability and security of the Region.

The five deny the charges.

Metro Center for Journalist’s Rights and Advocacy documented nearly 400 violations committed against journalists and media outlets in the Kurdistan Region in 2020.

(Zhyan English)

A copy of the arrest warrant