Badinan prisoners’ hunger strike reached dangerous stage, they are near to death: observer

A man holds a poster reading “Freedom for Persons in Bahadin” outside the Court of Appeals in Erbil, July 5, 2021. Ayub Ali/Esta Media Network

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Badinan prisoner’s hunger strike reached a dangerous stage and the prisoners are near to death said a human rights observer on Friday.  

Human rights observer as well as a representative for Badinan prisoners who were detained inside Erbil’s prison Ayhan Saeed said, “We keep receiving the news from their relatives that the prisoners are fainting out and their health conditions are critical, they are near to death after they went on hunger strike”.

“Whether or not if anything happens, we will complain against the Kurdistan Region ninth government cabinet in the Region, Baghdad, and international courts,” Saeed in a statement said.

“If there is the rule of law they must be released immediately because they are being held inside the prison under the supervision of the Kurdistan Democratic Party” Saeed added.

Earlier in July, the prisoners have gone on a hunger strike in Erbil’s prison, later in a message they explained the reason for the strike saying the legal conditional-release right was being manipulated by the general prosecutor, “There were attempts by a political party to intervene and strip us from that right”.

“The general prosecutor has no commitments to answer the prisoner’s call in order to execute the decision of conditional-release right for the prisoners” Saeed continued.

This is a general issue it is the duty of all sides to express serious commitments and show their stance, because the prisoners are activists and journalists they are detained because of conducting civil movements and demonstrations thus threatening democracy as well as the freedom of expression, according to Saeed’s words.

A wide range of local and international human rights organizations, watchdogs including activists and lawyers, have deeply expressed their concern about the Kurdistan Region government dealing with freedom of the press and its crackdown by the authorities in the 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. They have been accused of espionage and undermining national security.


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