On Monday the Campaign for Solidarity with Badinan (Behdinan) Prisoners called on the opposition in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, the Iraqi president and all human rights organisations in the region to take a stand against the ongoing imprisonment of the Badinan activists.
Protesters campaigning for the release of the Badinan journalists and activists gathered in front of the courts in various cities of Iraqi Kurdistan, including Erbil (Hewlêr), Sulaymaniyah (Silêmanî), Germian (Germiyan), Chamchamal (Chemchemal), Koya (Koye) and Halabja (Helebceyê).
Four Badinan activists, Masoud Ali, Bandawar Ayoub Rashid, Karger Abbas Ali and Sherwan Taha Emin, were expected to stand trial in Erbil today, but the trial was adjourned until 20 October, according to Roj News.
The protesters in Erbil announced that the states of health of the Badinan prisoners are getting worse. “The people of the Kurdistan Region should know that the journalists and activists of Badinan are being targeted for demanding rights for all of us. Because of that, someone needs to speak up for them,” the press statement issued by the campaigners read.
The statement continued as follows: “The hearing was postponed without taking into consideration the conditions of the detainees, as the conditions of some detainees is very poor. The prisoners’ hearing was once again postponed at a time when all parties were seeking votes for the election.”
Protesters called on the Iraqi president Barham Salih and all opposition parties in Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan to take action for the urgent release of the Badinan prisoners.
Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) say they have a fear that “confessions” may be extracted under duress from nine of the Badinan prisoners and videoed by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), and that they intend to broadcast these following a court decision.
In a statement by CPT on their Twitter account they state that they have a fear that the nine Badinan prisoners may be forced into making confession videos while in [Erbil (Hewlêr)] prison.
According to information from a source who did not wish to be named, videos of these “confessions” were made before the inquiry was even started, and they are to be broadcast following a court decision, Roj News reported.
The images of the “confessions” of the nine prisoners are to be viewed by the court on 5-6 October. The hearings of the teacher Bedel Berwari and Umed Beroshki are to be heard on 12 October.
Approximately 100 journalists and activists detained in the Badinan region over a year ago, some of whom have been convicted, some have proceedings underway, and some are still awaiting trial for protesting against the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).