“I am not broken,” declared the defiant Kurdish journalist Sherwan Sherwani from an Erbil Criminal Court cage on 20 July. “Rather, it is those who frantically oppose my will, resolve and vitality who are truly broken. The fraudsters are those wielding power through fabricated elections, stolen money, and illegitimate authority.” The presiding judge had just sentenced Sherwani to four years for signing a prison letter for a fellow prisoner in solitary confinement.
He has been imprisoned since 2020 for his work uncovering secret security prisons of the Kurdish government and was due for release in two months. CPT Iraqi Kurdistan has documented the cases of Sherwani and the other Badinan prisoners well, having attended over 24 court trials. In bearing witness to the 20 July trial, CPT Iraqi Kurdistan has observed problematic practices and believes this latest questionable conviction was designed solely to keep Sherwani in prison and punish him for his work and continued resistance.
We ask that you join us in praying for the freedom of Sherwan Sherwani, Guhdar Zebari and all other political prisoners in Iraqi Kurdistan. Pray for their well-being and steadfastness and that they remain unbroken in the face of repeated attempts to harm them in prison. Pray that their families may be reunited with loved ones soon and pray for the softening of the hardened hearts of those who oppress and imprison the innocent and truthtellers.