Badal Barwari to be released, journalist Omed Baroshki remains in jail

Badal Barwari (R) will be released since he spent over a year in prison.

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — A court in Erbil on Tuesday sentenced teacher Badal Barwari and journalist Omed Baroshki to one year in jail, the lawyer said, but Barwari would be freed as he has already spent over a year in prison.

Erbil criminal court held a hearing on the cases of Barwari and Baroshki, who were detained in Duhok in May 2020 over allegedly undermining national security of the Kurdistan Region.

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

The lawyer said on Tuesday that the court had changed the article to Article 222 of the Iraqi Penal Code.

Article 222 includes four points, in which the first one states, “If the intent of the gathering is to commit a felony or misdemeanor or to prevent the implementation of laws, regulations or decisions or to influence the affairs of the public authorities or to deprive another of his freedom of action with the use of force or menaces, then any person who calls for such a gathering or organizes it or who participates in it while being aware of its objective or any person who remains at it after having become aware of the objective is punishable by a period of detention not exceeding 2 years plus a fine not exceeding 200 dinars or by one of those penalties.”

The court sentenced the two to one year in jail in accordance with Article 222, the lawyer said.

Barwari, however, will be released since he spent more than a year in detention, but Baroshki would remain in jail because he was handed one-year and six months imprisonment sentence by a court in Duhok.

On Monday, their lawyer Hashim threatened to go on a strike outside the court if his defendants’ trial was delayed again.

In September, the court delayed their trial due to changes in posts of the head and judges of the court. Trials of several other activists and journalists have been delayed due to the same reason.

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