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Erbil court suspends trial against 4 Badinan activists, teachers

  2021-07-12  | 
 Zhyan News Network
A combination of photos showing four Duhok detainees (one without photo) whose trial suspended on July 12, 2021 by an Erbil Court. Graphic/Zhyan News Network
 Zhyan News Network


SULAIMANI – Trial was postponed by an Erbil court for four Duhok activists and teachers stranding them in custody behind bars 11 months after their arrest, said the team of lawyers representing the detainees on Monday (July 12).

A court session for the detainees was held and attended by UNAMI, diplomatic envoys, Asayish and a number of lawmakers. Lawyers frustrated by the attendance of representatives from Erbil Asayish calling it “illegal.”

A part of the charges was read, but the judges at 2nd Erbil Criminal Court advised trial proceedings be suspended until further notice for being too busy with other court hearings earlier in the day.

Five other Duhok detainees are expected to go on trial on Tuesday (July 13). They were used by the court as witnesses in today's hearing to testify against the four defendants.

The witnesses gave no testimony against the detainees and denied charges against them, said lawmaker Ali Hama Salih.

The detainees cannot be convicted with the charges they were accused of, said lawyer Bashdar Hassan during a press conference in Erbil.

They have been accused of “forming political and armed groups,” “working with civil communities in Baghdad,” “supporting Mustafa al-Kadhimi (Iraqi PM)” and “cooperating with Iraqi President Barham Salih when he was the leader of a force named Hawpaimany (Coalition for Democracy and Justice).”

“The court proceedings have so far been in the interest of the detainees, there was no evidence and convincing document against the prisoners to be charged,” Bashdar Hassan said.

On July 7, Baidnan detained activists and journalists who were arrested last year in Duhok called on the political parties, the public opinion and the foreign missions to put pressure on the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) to halt their trials and plight in prison, they said in a joint message after making telephone calls with their families.

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

Many of the detained journalists, activists and protesters are still behind the bar remaining in custody without trial.

Five of them were sentenced to six years in prison in February and upheld in April by a top court over controversial charges amounting to the undermining of the national security and stability. Two others were sentenced to twelve months and to seven years in prison respectively in late June.

(Zhyan English)