Iraq

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Nine more journalists and activists to stand trial

The family of Suleiman Kamal, one of nine Badinan Prisoners to stand trial in July, speaks about the situation and upcoming trial of their father and husband. In the upcoming weeks, nine journalists and activists will stand trial for unjust charges. The family members of these activists and journalists hope to see a just trial process and all prisoners released. One of the activists facing trial is Suleiman Kamal Suleiman, a father of four children and the husband of Fatima Haji. Suleiman's eldest son, Amed, told CPT that his father was abducted and arrested on 6 September 2020. Amed reported that his father was accused and unjustly charged with anti-state activism for working with “some of his other friends in a political party called Coalition for Democracy and Justice.”

IRAQI KURDISTAN: PRESS RELEASE | Political Rule above the Rule of Law

PRESS RELEASE - 28 June 2021 Christian Peacemaker Teams – Iraqi Kurdistan condemns the final decision of Erbil’s judiciary to deny justice to Badinan activists and journalists. On 27 June 2021, the Court of Cassation in Erbil announced that it upholds the unjust sentencing of the five journalists and civil rights activists Sherwan Sherwani, Guhdar Zebari, Eyaz Karam, Shivan Saeed, and Hariwan Essa, all of whom are from the Badinan region.

Prayers for Peacemakers 23 June 2021 Iraqi Kurdistan

Pray for an end to Turkish military impunity as soldiers invade Iraqi Kurdistan, killing, wounding, and destroying lives and land. Turkey does so under the eyes of world leaders who, instead of speaking up against these violations, continue to trade weapons with Turkey and legitimize Turkish dictatorship and state power. Pray that the Kurdistan and Iraqi governments provide adequate support and compensations for those who pay with their lives for this impunity and the world’s silence.

No Return: The Civilian Impact of Turkey’s Operation Claw-Lightning

On 3 June 2021, the Christian Peacemaker Teams' Iraqi Kurdistan program published a report documenting the impact of the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TAF) Operation Claw-Lightning on the civilian population living in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).  Operation Claw-Lightning is a cross-border military operation that Turkey began on April 23, 2021. This is not the first of its kind as Turkey has conducted a similar strategy multiple times since December 2017 and has advanced 6 to 35 km south of the border in some areas, expanding its territory by building bases and displacing civilians in the Kurdistan Region like Sidakan, Haftanin, and Zap.

CPT International: Borders are the wounds from which Mother Earth bleeds

The border cuts right through our ancestral land in Zagros. It has given us division, landmines, wars, among other atrocities. It has made us Iraqis on one side and Iranians on the other. Even the minerals, the other than human populations of trees, rivers and lakes have been divided that way. There are rivers whose source they claim to be Iranian and whose waters downstream to be Iraqi. So absurd and totalist is that border.

Prayers for Peacemakers 31 March 2021 Iraqi Kurdistan

Please pray for a fair appeal process for Sherwan Sherwani, Eyaz Karam, Shivan Saeed, Hariwan Essa and Guhdar Zebari. They were unjustly sentenced to six-year prison terms on 16 February and have been on a hunger strike since then. Please pray for the release of more than 20 journalists and civil rights activists from the Badinan region of Iraqi Kurdistan. Some have been held in government prisons for more than six months for reporting on corruption in the political parties, advocating for civil rights and participating in nonviolent protests.

Freedom of Expression Under Threat: Iraqi Kurdistan court rules that speaking to the U.S. Consulate and international organizations about human right is an act of espionage

REPORT | On 16 February 2021, the Criminal Court of the First Instance in Erbil found five freelance journalists and civil rights activists guilty of “espionage” and “conspiracy to commit acts that destabilize national security and stability” under Article 1 of Iraqi Kurdistan’s Parliamentary Law No. 21 of 2003. Journalists Sherwan Sherwani, Eyaz Karam and Guhdar Zebari and activists Shivan Saeed and Hariwan Essa were each sentenced to six-year prison terms.

Prayers for Peacemakers 17 February 2021 Iraqi Kurdistan

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.  
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