Erbil court once again delays trial of two activists detained in Duhok

A combined picture of activists Badal Barwari (L) and Omed Baroshki

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — An Erbil court on Wednesday postponed another trial of two activists who were detained in Duhok last year, according to their lawyer.

Their lawyers told reporters the hearings on the cases of the two detainees was delayed to October 12 due to “excuses that the head and judges were changes”.

“There was no single evidence on the two detainees and the witnesses have proved their innocence,” lawmaker Ali Hama Salih said.

“They have been in Asayish prison for over year. Their trial is delayed so that they won’t be released,” he added.

Meanwhile, lawmaker Abubakir Haladni said the detention of the two was a violation of human rights and law.

“The activists were detained without a court order. Now, the court has no evidence on them,” he noted.

Trials of several other activists have been delayed in the past months.

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 Sherwan Sherwani and journalists Guhdar Zebari and Ayaz Karam as well as activists Shvan Omer and Hariwan Issa to six years in jail on national security charges.

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

On Tuesday, the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in the Kurdistan Region said Sherwani spoke by phone with the organization, informing them that almost all of 81 journalists and activists had gone on a hunger strike.

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