IRAQI KURDISTAN: Statement on the Sentencing of Badal Barwari and Omed Barushky

On Tuesday 19 October 2021, Badal Barwari and Omed Barushky were sentenced to one year in prison, accused of encouraging people to join violent demonstrations and charged under Article 222 of the Iraqi Penal Code (Law No.111 of 1969). They received time served, and Barwari expects to be released on 26 November.  Barushky will remain in prison for other charges related to Article 2 of Law No 6 (2008) to Prevent the Misuse of Telecommunications Equipment.

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Statement Condemning the Turkish Military Bombings on Civilian Areas in Shengal

In early August 2021, the Turkish Armed Forces attacked civilian areas twice in Shengal (Sinjar), Iraq, killing four civilians and injuring at least 13 more. Shengal is the Yezidi territory that ISIS brutally attacked and controlled after the security forces fled the area in 2014. The Sinjar Resistance Units (YBŞ), with predominantly Yezidi membership, was established to fight ISIS after its assault in 2014. YBŞ controls security in much of the area and is now an official part of the Iraqi Army. They have close ties to the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) after receiving support in the fight against ISIS.

Iraqi Kurdistan courts accuse Badinan activists of conducting espionage for Foreign Governments

Civil society in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) is experiencing a crackdown on freedom of expression; security forces have incarcerated an alarming amount of civil rights activists and journalists. Since August 2020, an estimated 76 journalists, activists and teachers from the Badinan region have been arrested by security forces and imprisoned in Erbil. On 12 and 13 July, members of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) observed the trials for nine Badinan activists who were arrested in 2020 on charges of endangering national security and committing acts of espionage. They have been awaiting trial for almost a year.

Punishment Without Evidence: CPT IK Statement Regarding the Observation of Badal Barwari and Omed Barushky’s Trial

Statement from CPT Regarding the Observation of Badal Barwari and Omed Barushky’s Trial. On 29 July 2021, CPT observed the court trial for the Badinan activists Badal Barwari and Omed Barushky. Badal Barwari has been a teacher for 24 years, as well as a political organizer. Omed Barushky is an independent journalist who is 21-years-old. Badal and Omed were imprisoned in August 2020 after they organized a demonstration where they demanded the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) pay the salaries of government employees. 

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.
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