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Prosecutor general promised to review Badinan convicts’ case: MP

  2021-03-29  | 
 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 – Head of the Kurdistan Justice Group (KJG) bloc in the Kurdistan Parliament Abdulstar Majid said on Monday (March 29) that the prosecutor general had promised him to make more reviews to the case of Badinan convicts. 

On February 16, Sherwan Sherwani, Shvan Saeed, Guhdar Zebari, Hariwan Issa and Ayaz Karam were sentenced to six years in prison after being convicted by Branch 2 of Erbil’s Criminal Court. 

The court convicted the five for “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 asked the general prosecutor to have a stance in the case of Badinan detainees. We put that task on the prosecutor general’s shoulder and the Court of Appeals who should take up their duties, especially the prosecutor general,” Majid said at a news conference. 

“We deem the charges attributed to the detainees illegitimate. The Kurdistan Region Court of Appeals should take a stance and we are waiting the court to make a just decision on the case.” 

Besides Zebari and Sherwani, over a score of other journalists, activists and political opposition figures are held in jails under the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) jurisdiction in Duhok governorate without charge or trial for periods ranging from several weeks to a year. 

The Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) on March 4 released a video footage which appeared to show five detained Badinan journalists and activists, including Zebari and Sherwani, confessing to “spying.” 

The footage contained transcripts of social media chats between Sherwani, Zebari, and other defendants with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members, as well as photographs and voice recordings.

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

(Zhyan English)