SULAIMANI – Father of a detained Kurdish activist rejected on Sunday (February 21) charges against his son who has been accused of “endangering the national security of the Kurdistan Region."
“If my son has betrayed Kurdistan, I will kill him with my own hands,” said Eyub Rashid father of a Badinan detainee during a press conference.
Bandawar Eyub Rashid is among over 60 journalists, activists and political opposition figures held in the Kurdistan Democratic Party-held prisons in Duhok and Badinan, without charge or trial.
Eyub Rashid said they don’t know charges dropped against his son and that over the past six months only one of their applications to meet Bandawar Eyub has been approved.
Bandawar Eyub’s family hired a lawyer, but he has been prevented to review the evidences and know the reason behind his arrest, Eyub added.
“Seven members of our family have been martyred for the sake of Kurdistan, the government has no respect for those martyrs,” said Eyub. “I was arrested during a protest which was held outside UN headquarters against arrest of my son and held in detention for six hours.”
More than 60 journalists, activists and political opposition figures are in the Kurdistan Democratic Party-held prisons in Duhok and Badinan, without charge or trial for periods ranging from several weeks to a year.
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 proof 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.”