Please pray that justice prevails over political agenda during the appeal of the six-year prison sentence for independent journalists Sherwan Sherwani, Eyaz Karam, Guhdar Zebari and civil rights activists Shvan Saeed and Hariwan Essa, known as the “Badinan prisoners”.
The criminal court sentenced five of CPT Iraqi Kurdistan’s partners, who are known for exposing political corruption and organizing civil rights initiatives, to six-year prison terms under the pretext of espionage and activities undermining state unity and security.
The evidence against them presented to the court were several personal conversations that may carry differing meanings, photos used in journalism work, and their communication with international organizations about violations of human rights in Iraqi Kurdistan.
During a short break in the trial, Sherwan, who was locked with the other four Badinan activists in a cage, told CPT members present at the trial that he was tortured during the investigation process. At the end of the trial, Sherwan shouted: “The ruling political party is using the judge, court and legal powers to restrain the freedom of speech.”
Please pray for the Badinan prisoners and their families. Pray that the appeal trial is permitted and that it will be fair, just and independent of any political agenda. Please share this sad news and also share CPT-IK’s videos of Sherwan Sherwani and other Badinan activists on your social media.