Court in Erbil orders release of activist Berivan Ayub: lawyer

File – The Presidency Appellate Court in Erbil

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — A court in Erbil on Tuesday ordered the release of activist Berivan Ayub, who has been in jail for around 19 months, her lawyer said.

Lawyer Bashdar Hassan said the decision was made by the judge of Erbil misdemeanor court.

The activist, who has five children, is accused of disrupting the Kurdistan Region’s security, according to her lawyer.

She has been in jail without a trial since October 13, 2020, according to the Christian Peacemaker Teams-Iraqi Kurdistan.

The Kurdish security forces detained dozens of journalists and activists in Duhok in 2020 over espionage and 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.

Their lawyers presented appeals twice to the court of appellate, but they were rejected.

Several other activists were given prison sentences in Erbil but were released after serving their prison terms.

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