Erbil court to hold trial of Badal Barwari; lawyer threatens to go on strike

Teacher Badal Barwari who has been in custody since May 2020.

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — A lawyer for teacher Badal Barwari whose trial has been delayed several times threatened to go on a strike outside the court in Erbil if his defendant’s hearing was postponed again.

Erbil criminal court is scheduled to hold hearing on the cases of Barwari and activist Omed Baroshki on Tuesday, according to the lawyer.

Barwari and Baroshki were detained in Duhok in May 2020 over allegedly undermining national security of the Kurdistan Region.

“The court has delayed the hearings several times with no legal excuses,” lawyer Aso Hashim wrote on Facebook on Monday.

“I will go on a strike outside the court if the trial is delayed again,” he added.

Baroshki has already been sentenced to one year and six months in jail on three different cases filed against him in Duhok.

In September, the court delayed their trial due to changes in posts of the head and judges of the court.

They are detained in accordance with Article 156 of the Iraqi Penal Code, which is related to undermining security and stability in the Region.

“It is the same article that the court sentenced the other Badinan journalists and activists to six years in prison,” Hashim said in May, referring to other journalists and activists detained in Duhok province.

On February 16, Erbil criminal court-2 sentenced journalists Sherwan Sherwani, Guhdar Zebrai and Ayaz Karam as well as activists Shvan Omer and Hariwan Issa to six years each in jail on national security charges.

The Kurdish security forces arrested the five in Duhok province in October 2020 over allegedly undermining national security in the Region.

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