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JOURNALIST Omed Baroshki and teacher Badal Barwari must be freed immediately, opposition party MPs said yesterday after their trial was postponed in Iraqi Kurdistan.
“It is clear to everyone how Kurdistan’s courts are under the control of ruling parties, New Generation parliamentarian Sipan Amedi told the NRT media outlet as he demanded the two men’s release.
They were detained by forces allied to the Kurdistan Democratic Party during protests last year against the government’s failure to pay public-sector salaries.
Scores of people have been arrested as part of a broader crackdown on dissent, while at least 13 were shot dead during unrest in Slemani province last December.
Some 81 political prisoners, known as the Badinan activists, are currently on hunger strike, claiming to have been tortured during their incarceration.
Many, including journalist and government critic Sherwan Sherwani, have received lengthy jail sentences after trials condemned as unfair by human rights organisations.
A demonstration was held outside yesterday’s hearing, with one protester saying: “The court arrests anyone as they like and they sentence them as they like.”
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