Erbil court to hold hearings on cases of activists detained in Duhok – lawyer

File – The Presidency Appellate Court in Erbil

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — A court in Erbil will hold hearings this month on the cases of activists who were detained in Duhok last year, their lawyer said on Thursday.

Lawyer Bashdar Hassan said Erbil criminal court-2 was scheduled to hold the hearings on September 6, 8 and 20.

“Head of Erbil criminal court-2 and two judges were replaced with other persons,” Hassan told Esta Media Network.

The lawyer didn’t say which detainees would be tried this month, but hearings of nine activists were delayed in July.

The activists included Amr Khalid Agid, Firsat Ahmed Saeed, Jamal Khalil Majid, Sleman Kamal Sleman, Sleman Musa Ahmed, Masoud Shangali, Bandawar Ayub Rashid, Kargar Abbas Ali and Sherwan Taha Amin.

The Kurdish security forces detained dozens of journalists and activists in Duhok last year over espionage and allegedly undermining national security in the Kurdistan Region.

In February, 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.

According to Hassan, there are still 35 more activists whose cases are still at the directorate of Asayish (security).

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