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Case of Badinan convicts sent to Kurdistan Region Appellate Court: lawyer

  2021-03-10  | 
 Zhyan News Network
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – The case of five journalists and activists each sentenced to five-year imprisonment by a court in Erbil in February has been sent to the Kurdistan Region Appellate Court, a lawyers representing the convicts said on Wednesday (March 10).

“We are waiting for the court to play its role,” lawyer Bashdar Hassan told Zhyan News Network.

On February 16, five previously detained journalists and activists were sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted by Branch 2 of Erbil’s Criminal Court of controversial charges of “taking pictures of forbidden places”, releasing information about the movement of the security forces”, and “receiving money from outside the Kurdistan Region for exchanging information about the security agencies.”

“We have not been able to meet them prior to and after they were convicted,” Hassan said. “They [authorities] have prevented us from meeting with them under different excuses every time.”

The lawyer also expressed his hope for the incredibility of the previous charges presented by the plaintiffs.

“The evidence presented before are not credible for penalizing the people [convicts].”

Over the last spring, KDP forces have started cracking down on demonstrators, teachers, activists and journalists who mostly participated in anti-government protests erupted in last May over salary delays by the KRG.  KDP forces arrested 100 protesters at the time.

It released many of them on bails and retained several others without concrete charges.  

The crackdown and the trial have sparked condemnations from local and international organizations and advocacy groups.

(Zhyan English)