KRG summons journalist to testify in Sherwani case

Kurdish journalist Eyaz Karem remains under threat even after serving time in prison. The recent court summons to testify in Sherwan Sherwani’s case may be a ploy to further persecute him.
Andy Paine, Kamaran Osman, Eyaz Karam, Rebekah Dowling stand outside the CPT office, posing for the picture. There is greenery all around them.
Andy Paine, Kamaran Osman, Eyaz Karam, and Rebekah Dowling meet at the CPT office in Sulaimani.

On 22 April, Iraqi Kurdistan celebrated ‘Kurdish Journalism Day.’ Politicians, including Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani, took the opportunity to express their support for press freedom and freedom of expression. 

Currently, CPT Iraqi Kurdistan is accompanying journalists Sherwan Sherwani, Qaraman Shukry, Ghudar Zebari and Eyaz Karem. These journalists are either in prison or under orders to attend court for exaggerated or false charges. They are journalists who have criticized the Kurdish Regional Government, and their lives continue to be under threat.  

On Wednesday, CPT met with Eyaz, who has been summoned to attend court in Duhok as a witness in a new case against Sherwan Sherwani. Sherwan is being charged with forging Eyaz and other friends’ signatures on a document he submitted requesting they be moved from Duhok to Sulaimani prison. Eyaz told CPT he had given permission for Sherwan to sign the document on his behalf and that he believes this court hearing is being used as a trap to bring him to Duhok so that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) can arrest him again. 

Eyaz shared with CPT that he continues to receive threats and humiliation because of his public criticisms of the government. During his arrest in 2020, the interrogator brought up an article Eyaz wrote about increased unemployment rates in the KRG and threatened to rip out his tongue for speaking against the government.

Please pray for Eyaz. Pray that he will not be arrested. Pray for the release of all political prisoners. Pray that Kurdish leaders will uphold human rights and back up their words of support for freedom of expression with concrete actions. 

You can learn more about Guhdar Zebari, Sherwan Sherwani, Eyaz Karem, Qaraman Shukry and other journalists and civil society activists with whom CPT partners by visiting our timeline and biographies of the Badinan Prisoners

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