SULAIMANI – The Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) on Thursday (March 4) released a video footage showing five detained Badinan journalists and activists confessing to “spying."
The 25-minute video footage
comes 17 days after a six-year prison sentence was issued against the detainees on charges of “endangering the national security of the Kurdistan Region,” sparking outrage on social media and among human rights activists.
The defendants all denied the charges against them and lawyers lamented a “bad” ruling, saying the charges had “previously been decided.”
In its video footage, the KRSC accused the detainees of “spying” to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and “taking pictures of forbidden places,” “releasing information about the movement of the security forces,” and “receiving money from the PKK for exchanging information about the security agencies.”
The footage appeared to contain a “phone call” between detained activist Sherwan Sherwani and a man identified by the KRSC as Ardal, “a PKK intelligence cadre.”
In their phone call, both men discuss “establishing small armed groups and their work to sabotage the Kurdistan Region’s stability.”
Guhdar Mohammed Amin, another Badinan detainee, also shows up in the footage admitting the creation of a group on Messenger to “exchange information.”
“In that way [through Messenger] Guhdar gave information to a PKK intelligence official,” the KRSC said.
Voices of two men, both identified by KRSC as Guhdar Mohammed Amin and Sherwan Sherwani can be heard allegedly speaking on the phone about “overseeing the Peshmerga forces.”
The video footage also contains confession by Hariwan Isa Mohammed, another detainee, who has is being accused by KRCS of “collecting information about the oil fields in Duhok province.”
“In his confession Hariwan said he had contact with a PKK cadre named Helan Chya.”
The KRSC also recorded alleged confession of Shivan Saed Omer and Ayaz Karam Rashid admitting that they have collected information for Sherwan Sherwani and during investigations “there has been no pressure on them.”