Duhok court sentences journalist to one year in jail: lawyer

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — A court in Duhok on Thursday sentenced journalist Omed Baroshki to one year in prison, his lawyer said.

Lawyer Reving Yaseen told Esta Media Network that Duhok court held a hearing on two cases filed against Baroshki on Thursday.

He was accused of encouraging people for protests and defaming the security forces in accordance with article 2 of the law of misusing communication devices, the lawyer said.

He got six months in jail on each case, he added.

Another trial of Baroshki is scheduled for October 17, according to the lawyer.

Baroshki was detained by the security forces in Duhok in August 2020 over encouraging people to hold protests in the city.

On Sept. 19, Duhok court sentenced member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) office in Darkare Mala Nazir and member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Nimat Gunes to seven years in prison over links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The PUK and HDP members were detained in Duhok province seven months ago.

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 Shirwan Sherwani and 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.

As many as 77 other activists are also detained pending trial at detention centers in Erbil.

Trials of a dozen activists have been postponed in the past months due to various reasons, including changes in the head and judges of the court.

The journalists and activists have gone on hunger strike in the Erbil detentions, according to rights watchdogs.

The committee of rights and freedoms in Kurdistan and Europe said 82 journalists and activists had been on hunger strike for over 12 days.

“Their condition is at risk now,” the committee said on Sept. 18.

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