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Startseite Urgent Actions 2020 02 Assistant judge convicted in unfair trial Assistant judge’s trial postponed
FI 010/20-1
Iraq
Aktiv seit 24. März 2020 | Noch 33 Tage Laufzeit
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Assistant judge’s trial postponed

AI-Index: MDE 14/2025/2020

The trial of assistant judge Hatsyar Wshyar was postponed from 8 March 2020 to 22 and 26 April 2020, following the COVID19 outbreak in Iraq. Hatsyar remains on hunger strike since 2 February 2020 and his health has significantly deteriorated. Authorities must release Hatsyar Wshyar immediately and unconditionally, drop all charges, and ensure a prompt, independent, impartial and effective investigation into the torture allegations. Pending his release, authorities must urgently provide him with the needed medical care, especially as the risk of contamination of prisons amidst the COVID19 epidemic puts him in serious danger.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

In 2017, the Union of Judges filed multiple lawsuits against Hatsyar Wshyar for «using unseemly phrases on his private social media accounts targeting certain individuals» under Article 236 of the penal code. He frequently published posts on his social media accounts, criticizing the justice system in Sulaymaniyah and what he saw as corrupt practices in the courthouse. He was detained for 50 days and sentenced to four months in prison, during which time he was dismissed from his position. He was released in January 2018 and pursued legal action against the courthouse for firing him.

On 24 November 2019, the Asayish forces arbitrarily arrested him during his court hearing, searched his family home, taking official documents related to his case, his mobile phone and laptop. Hatsyar Wshyar remained in solitary confinement with the Asayish for seven days, where he was reportedly blindfolded and tortured. He was transported directly by the Asayish to face a closed hearing where he was sentenced to one year in prison for «misuse of electronics» under article two of the penal code.

He is currently on hunger strike and is refusing family visits because he is too weak to transport himself to the visitation room. He awaits trial on 20 April 2020, and 26 April 2020.

 

Take action

  • Write an appeal in your own words or use the model letter below.
  • Please take action before 5 May 2020.
  • Preferred language: English, Kurdish, Arabic. You can also write in your own language.

Model letter

Your Excellency,

The trial of assistant judge at the Sulaymaniyah court Hatsyar Wshyar was postponed from 8 March 2020 to 22 April 2020 and 26 April 2020, following the COVID19 outbreak in Iraq. He is being charged on «misuse of electronic devices».

Hatsyar Wshyar has been on hunger strike to protest the court’s decision on another unfair trial he faced where was sentenced on 2 December 2019 to a one-year prison term under Article 2 of the penal code, after he was charged with «misuse of electronics». The charges related to his social media posts criticizing the conduct of certain judges and the manner in which the law was being implemented. In clear violation of fair trial standards, Hatsyar Wshyar was sentenced in a closed hearing, after he was denied access to his own lawyer and appointed a court lawyer instead and was not allowed to speak. Moreover, the charge per se represents a clear violation of his right to exercise his freedom of expression.

Hatsyar Wshyar’s medical condition is steadily deteriorating as a result of his hunger strike. He faces further risks of severe illness given the outbreak of COVID19 in Iraq, that puts prisoners at risk of contamination. Hatsyar Wshyar’s right to a fair trial and to exercise his freedom of expression have both been violated, in contradiction with Iraq’s obligations under Article 38 of the Iraqi constitution, as well as the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights.

I urge you to immediately and unconditionally release Hatsyar Wshyar, and drop all charges in ongoing lawsuits, and ensure a prompt, independent, impartial and effective investigation into the claims of torture. I also urge you, that pending his release, he has access to qualified health professionals providing health care in compliance with medical ethics, including the principles of confidentiality, autonomy, and informed consent.

Yours sincerely,

Appeals to

Judge Bengeen Qasim Mohamed Kattany
Head of the Kurdistan Region Judicial Council
Kurdistan Region Judicial Council
c/o Dr. Dindar Zebari,
Head of the Committee to Evaluate and Respond to
International Reports
Erbil
Republic of Iraq

Email: dindar.zebari@gov.krd

Salutation: Your Excellency,

 

 

Copies to

Ambassade de la République d'Irak
Elfenstrasse 6
3006 Berne

Fax: 031 351 83 12
E-mailbernemb@mofa.gov.iq

 

Représentation diplomatique du Kurdistan irakien en Suisse
Docteur Fauzi Kaddur
Thunstrasse 74
CH-3006 Berne

Fax:+41 31 352 00 61
Email: switzerland@gov.krd

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