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Erbil court sentenced 5 activists and journalists to 6 years in prison

  2021-02-16  | 
 Zhyan News Network
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – An Erbil court on Tuesday (February 16) sentenced journalist Sherwan Amin Sherwani and another four journalists and activists to six years in prison.

Badinan Journalists and activists, Sherwan Amin Sherwani, Shivan Saed, Guhdar Zebary, Hariwan Issa and Ayaz Karami were accused by the General Prosecutor of “endangering national security” and were each sentenced to six years in prison.

Lawyer for the cases Bashdar Hasan lamented a “bad” ruling, saying the charges had “previously been decided.”

“A speech by the Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister (on Feb. 10) was a prove that the charges have previously been decided,” Bashdar Hasan said.

During a speech on February 10, Masrour Barzani KRG Prime Minister accused detained journalists and activists who have been held from his party’s prisons in Duhok and Badinan of being “spies.”

Kurdish parliament member, Ali Hama Salih who attended the court hearing, said the trial was “so unfair” and that the charges were “politically motivated.”

In its year-end report, the Metro Center documented nearly 400 violations were committed against journalists and media outlets in the Kurdistan Region in 2020.

The violations included 74 arrests without a warrant, 163 detentions, the shuttering of four offices of broadcasters, and 42 cases of confiscation of journalists’ equipment.

(Zhyan English)