Duhok court gives journalist six months in jail – lawyer

Journalist Omed Baroshki

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — A court in Duhok sentenced journalist Omed Baroshki to six months in jail on Sunday, according to his lawyer, just one month after he was given one-year prison term.

Lawyer Reving Yaseen said Duhok court held a trial on a case in which Baroshki was accused of misusing communications devices.

Lawmaker Mala Ihsan Rekani filed the lawsuit against Baroshki, Yaseen told Esta Media Network.

The case was on a post which Baroshki wrote that Mala Baroshki had returned from abroad without being quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic, his lawyer noted.

“We asked the court to bring an expert to the court so as to find out the date of the lawmaker’s travel during the coronavirus pandemic, but the court refused our request,” the lawyer said, adding that they couldn’t find the date because the number of his travels were “a lot”.

In September, Baroshki was handed a one-year imprisonment sentence on two other cases.

He was accused of encouraging people for protests and defaming the security forces in accordance with article 2 of the law of misusing communication devices, according to his lawyer.

He was detained by the security forces in Duhok in August 2020 over encouraging people to hold protests in the city.

The Kurdish security forces detained dozens of journalists and activists in Duhok last year over espionage and allegedly undermining national security in the Kurdistan Region.

In February, Erbil Criminal Court sentenced journalists Shirwan Sherwani and Guhdar Zebari and Ayaz Karam as well as activists Shvan Omer and Hariwan Issa to six years in jail on national security charges.

Their lawyers presented appeals twice to the court of appellate, but they were rejected.

As many as 77 other activists are also detained pending trial at detention centers in Erbil.

Trials of a dozen activists have been postponed in the past months due to various reasons, including changes in the head and judges of the court.

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