German consulate expresses concern over rule of law in Kurdistan

Family members, lawmakers and activists gather outside the building of Erbil Appeal Court, October 4, 2021. (Esta Media Network/Ayoub Ali)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — German Consulate General in Erbil on Friday expressed concern over the rule of law in the Kurdistan Region, as dozens of journalists and activists are in Erbil’s detention centers. 

In a tweet, the consulate welcomed a decision by Erbil criminal court to release several activists who were sentenced to one year in prison, but freed after serving the time.

Last week, the court handed one-year imprisonment sentence to journalist Omed Baroshki and six other activists for involvement in “illegal gatherings” that incite violence.

The activists including Badal Barwari, Sleman Kamal, Firsat Ahmed, Amir Khalid, Jamal Khalil and Sleman Musa were released following the court’s imprisonment sentence based on time served during pre-trial detention.

Journalist Baroshki remained in prison due to other charges against him. He was sentenced to one-year and six months in jail by a court in Duhok on three different cases earlier this month.

“We welcome that this week’s Badinan verdicts ended a more than year-long uncertainty for many of the defendants,” the German consulate said.

“With UN & EU, Germany closely observed the trials. Concerns re rule of law, particularly duration of pre-trial detention, access to lawyers & denied family visits remain,” it added.

There are dozens of other activists who are also waiting for court trials on their cases. They were detained on charges of allegedly undermining national security in the Kurdistan Region.

In February, journalists Shirwan Sherwani, Guhdar Zebari and Ayaz Karam as well as activists Shvan Omer and Hariwan Issa were given six years imprisonment sentence by Erbil criminal court.

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

Previous Article

No vaccine, no salary: Halabja health directorate tells its employees

Next Article

Iraqi forces destroy ISIS hideout near Makhmour

Related Posts