SULAIMANI (ESTA) — A court in Erbil delayed a trial for activist Berivan Ayub who has been detained since October 2020, according to her lawyer.
Erbil Criminal Court-2 was scheduled to hold the hearing of Ayub on Monday, but delayed it to February 28, her lawyer Bashdar Hassan said.
“We were prepared to annul the accusations against the activist today, but the son of the court’s head had a car crash, therefore, the trial was delayed,” Hassan told reporters.
The Christian Peacemaker Teams-Iraqi Kurdistan said in a tweet that the activist, who is a mother of five children, had not been able to see her family since she was imprisoned on “national security” charges.
She has been in jail without a trial since October 13, 2020, according to the CPT Iraqi Kurdistan.
“To protest against her conditions of imprisonment, Berivan has gone on hunger strike 6 times, not eating or drinking for more than 20 days,” the CPT tweeted.
“Berivan is in danger of being sentenced to between 5 to 20 years in prison,’ it said, expressing concern about the “criminalization of free speech and the right of due process in Iraqi Kurdistan”.
The Kurdish security forces detained dozens of journalists and activists in Duhok in 2020 over espionage and allegedly undermining national security in the Kurdistan Region.
In February 2021, Erbil criminal court sentenced journalists Sherwan Sherwani, Guhdar Zebari and Ayaz Karam as well as activists Shvan Omer and Hariwan Issa to six years in prison on national security charges.