Erbil court sentences two activists to two years in jail: lawyer

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

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — A court in Erbil on Sunday sentenced two activists detained in Duhok in 2020 to two years in jail, lawyer Bashdar Hassan said.

Erbil criminal court-2 held a trial on cases of two activists Berivan Ayub and Abdulmutalib, who are accused of disrupting the Kurdistan Region’s security.

Hassan told reporters outside the court that the court sentenced the two activists to two years each in jail.

“The court made the decision even though the evidence provided by the Asayish were not persuasive and were weak,” lawyer Hassan said.

The two activists have been in for over a year and five months, according to Hassan.

Lawmaker Karwan Gaznay, who participated in the trial alongside a number of other lawmakers, said the allegations against the two were “baseless”.

“No bullet has been seized during at the investigation or at their houses,” he added.

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.

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