Activist and teacher Badal Barwari released from prison: family

Activist and teacher Badal Barwari (File)

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SULAIMANI — Teacher and activist Badal Barwari was released on Wednesday (October 20) and is going back to Duhok, according to his family.

"My father has been released and he is on his way back to Duhok governorate, returning to his home," Badal Barwari's son told NRT. 

Fourteen months after they were arrested as part of a crackdown in Duhok governorate, Barwari and journalist Omed Baroshki were sentenced to one year in prison on Tuesday on charges of involvement in an illegal gathering that incited violence. Indications had been that he was scheduled to be released on the basis of time served next month.

Both defendants objected to being convicted on the charges, saying that they had called for peaceful protests against the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) economic and financial policies.

They were arrested along with dozens of other journalists and activists as part of a crackdown of public displays of criticism of the government last year by the local security forces, which are affiliated with the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

Additionally, defense lawyers raised numerous objections about how the case had been handled, arguing that due process and their clients' rights had been violated.

The sentence is less than the time Barwari has spent in prison in pre-trial detention since his arrest on August 18, 2020.

(NRT Digital Media)

This story was updated on October 21, 2021 at 9:12 a.m. EBL