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Children of Badinan detained activist call for advocacy from public

  2021-07-18  | 
 Zhyan News Network
Sons of Badinan detained activist Amjad Rekan (L) appeal to public opinion to take a stand about their father, more than seven months after his detention in Shiladze district, Duhok, Kurdistan Region, Iraq, July 18, 2021. A file photo of Amjad Rekani (R)
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – Two children of Badinan detained activist Amjad Rekani on Sunday (July 18) called on the public opinion in the Kurdistan Region not to leave his father along in prison, more than seven months after he was arrested by the security forces in Shiladze sub-district of Duhok governorate.

On December 13, Rekani was arrested in Shiladze around 01:47 pm during a crackdown on anti-government protests in several cities and towns in Duhok governorate, with the teachers, public sector employees, academics, journalists and activists were calling for an end to salary delays and cuts imposed by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). 

“My name is Muhammad, a son of Amjad Rekani. One of the Badinan detainees. I am calling on the enduring people in Kurdistan people and Shiladze and everyone not to leave my father alone, because my father is pure and innocent,” his elder child said in a video clip.

“My father’s crime is that he called for poor people’s rights.”

Rekani is only survived by the two sons after his wife’s death. 

“We are honored by our father. and we miss him so much,” the elderly sons said, appealing to the foreign consulate generals and the European Union (EU) to advocate the case for their father and the rest of the Badinan detainees,” he added. 

In June, Amnesty International said that 100 individuals were arrested between March 2020 and April 2021 by the security forces affiliated with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Duhok during a large-scale crackdown on anti-goevrnment protests, and specifically in the Badinan area, northwest of the governorate.

At least 30 remain behind the bar, according to the international watchdog.

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. 

Over dozen others are pending trials. 

Prior to the February court trial and the sentencing of the five, Kurdistan Regional Prime Minister (KRG) Masrour Barzani called the five “spies” and accused them of multitude of charges. 

The Kurdistan Region has come under fire 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 decisions as well as political interventions. 

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

(Zhyan English)