Iraq

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.  

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Telling the truth

In November 2019, Niyaz Abdullah organized a gathering of Kurdish journalists promoting freedom of the press. The journalists present acknowledged experiencing political oppression for seeking to tell the truth. They called for an end to the government's distortion of the law that allows it to threaten journalists and undermine press freedom. "We are strong," Niyaz Abdullah said, "but we need to be stronger. And we are much stronger together."

“I quarantine myself, not because of COVID-19 but to not be bombed like my brother.”

CPT calls on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to protect citizens’ rights to safety, access to a fair trial, and protection from coercion and ill-treatment in detention in Iraqi Kurdistan. CPT also calls upon the United Nations, NATO, and the international community to pressure the Turkish government to respect the lives of civilians, cease all military operations inside Iraqi Kurdistan that have continued for more than three decades, and ultimately initiate a peaceful resolution between Turkey and armed groups to solve their long-term conflicts.
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