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Case of Badinan detainees returned to Cassation Court

  2021-06-07  | 
 Zhyan News Network
Journalists and activists Sherwan Sherwan, Shvan Saeed, Guhdar Zebari, Hariwan Issa and Ayaz Karam, who were sentenced by a court in Erbil on March 29, 2021. Graphic by Zhya News Network
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – The case of five Badinan journalists and activists, who have been sentenced to six years in prison, has been returned to the Court of Cassation days after an appeal by their lawyers team against the court decision.

Head of a team of lawyers representing the five Badinan convicts Bashdar Hassan said on May 20 that they had presented their last appeal with the Kurdistan Region Court of Cassation in Erbil.

Recently upheld by the appellate court, three journalists and two activists were sentenced to six years in prison by an Erbil criminal court in February over charges amounting to undermining the stability and security of the Kurdistan Region.

“In our appeal, we have emphasized that justice has not been served in the trial and asked the court to precisely review the case,” a lawyer for the detainees said during a press conference.

Legal procedures against Badinan detainees, however, are pending and their case is yet to be settled after the appeal, but they remained behind bars for about 10 months so far.

The Kurdistan Region has come under fire for the court ruling and its approval by the foreign missions in and out the Kurdistan Region and several international watchdogs.

“We have hopes that the Region Court of Cassation will decide in favor of the Badinan convicts due to the internal and external pressures,” Bashdar Hassan told Zhyan News Network. 

Last summer and autumn, a number of journalists and activists, including the five, were arrested by the security forces affiliated with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Duhok.

The crackdown was seen as a bid to crack down protests criticism over the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) decision to delay and slash public sector salary payments amid deteriorating economic conditions.

(Zhyan English)