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Court trial for 5 detained Badinan activists postponed

  2021-07-04  | 
 Zhyan News Network
A number of Badinan activists, seven sentenced in 2021, who were arrested in 2020 in Duhok, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. Graphic by Zhyan News Network
 Zhyan News Network


SULAIMANI – Amid widespread local and international outcry, a court trial for five activists arrested in Duhok in 2020 was postphoned to further notice, who were supposed to be tried by the Second Branch of the Erbil Criminal Court in the Kurdistan Region capital of Erbil on Monday (July 5), the defense team said. 

The families of the detained called on the parliamentary blocs in the Kurdistan Parliament, the human rights organizations, lawyers and activists to throw their support behind their family members and “not to leave them behind,” read the statement.

The Kurdistan Region has come under scrutiny by the human rights organizations such as (CPJ), Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the foreign missions in Erbil and Baghdad for the court trials and rulings for seven other Badinan journalists and activists in recent months.

No lawyers for the defendants have been allowed to attend tomorrow’s trial, the families said, noting the defendants have been charges with the undermining the national security and spying for “the US, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, Iraqi President Barham Salih.”

“We hope people will not leave us alone because our relatives have been apprehended for calling for the public rights,” added the statement.

A former colleague of Iraqi President Barham Salih will be unjustly tried in court for conducting espionage and conspiring to commit sabotage, Christian Peacemaking Team in the Kurdistan Region (CPT-IK), a war monitor, said on Saturday.  

Aamer Khalid Agid, was arrested without an arrest warrant by the security forces in Duhok on September 20, 2020, is one of the founders of the Coalition for Democracy and Justice political party, which was led by Salih at the time.

“Our brother is a university teacher and was candidate for Iraqi Parliament election in 2018. He is innocent. We don’t know why he was arrested. He didn’t commit any crime. He was a part of an official political party,” A brother of Aamer told CPT. 

Next week on July 12, four other detainees, Masoud Shangali, Sherwan Amin, Kargar Abbas Ali and Bandwar Aub are expected to go on trial on charges amounting to spying and spoiling the national security, according to information Zhyan News Network has obtained.  

Omed Baroshki who has recently been sentenced to twelve months and a fine will also be tried on July 17 along detained teacher and activist Badal Barwari.

Between March 2020 and April 2021, KDP-affiliated security forces cracked down on anti-government protests in Duhok and apprehended over 100 individuals in Duhok governorate alone, and specifically in the Badinan area, northwest of the governorate, Amnesty International reported on June 15.

35 other activists have their cases with the Asayish pending trial.

According to the legal experts, Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani has the power to revoke the court rulings. 

(Zhyan English)

*This story as updated at 10:53 am EBL on Monday (July 5) to include the postponement