Arrested | Independent Journalist

Sherwan Sherwani

#FreeSherwanSherwani

Stand in solidarity with the journalist Sherwan Sherwani who has been abducted for exposing government corruption in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Arrested | Independent Journalist

Sherwan Sherwani

#FreeSherwanSherwani

Stand in solidarity with the journalist Sherwan Sherwani who has been abducted for exposing government corruption in Iraqi Kurdistan.

کوردییەکەی بخوێنەوە

Sign the letter to demand the government immediately release Sherwan Sherwani.

Sign the letter to demand the government immediately release Sherwan Sherwani.

Sherwan Sherwani is an independent journalist who has worked for many years to expose government corruption. The Kurdistan Regional Government has attempted to silence Sherwan since he started reporting on the government’s corruption. On 7 October 2020, a group of ten armed and unidentified men entered Sherwan’s home and seized his computer, recorder, camera, and phone. The group then held a gun to Sherwan’s head in front of his wife and children and abducted him. At this moment, Sherwan Sherwani’s location is still unknown.

Update: February 19, 2021

CPT-IK STATEMENT REGARDING THE SENTENCING OF INDEPENDENT JOURNALISTS AND ACTIVISTS FROM BADINAN
***Court sentenced five independent journalists and activists from Badinan to six years in prison. Sherwan Sherwani speaks of having been tortured during the investigation process.***
 
Today, on 16 February 2021, after a nine-hour-long trial spread over two days, the criminal court in Erbil sentenced Sherwan Sherwani and two other independent journalists Eyaz Karam and Guhdar Zebari, as well as two civil rights activists: Shvan Saeed and Hariwan Essa to six-year prison terms for alleged espionage and preparation of violent anti-state activities. The evidence presented to the court were several personal conversations which may carry differing meanings, photos used in journalism work, and their communication with international organizations about violations of human rights in Iraqi Kurdistan.
 
During a short break in the trial, Sherwan, who was locked with the other four Badinan activists in a cage, told CPT members who were present at the trial that he was tortured. He asked to deliver his message to the civil society activists to “stay united and do as much as they can to put pressure on the KRG to bring justice for the Badinan prisoners.”
At the end of the trial Sherwan shouted: “The ruling political party is using the judge, court and legal powers to restrain the freedom of speech in Kurdistan.”
 
Sherwan’s words describe what CPT and others had observed during the trial. The lawyers of the security Council did not present any direct and reasonable evidence that would support any of the accusations made against the Badinan journalists and activists. Moreover, the political motivation to silence civil and human rights initiatives seems to be evident from the claim that communication with international human rights organization about civil rights and freedoms consists an act that undermines state unity or security.
 
Members of CPT-IK are deeply saddened with this process that targets fundamental civil rights and destroys lives of those who expose truth and stand against violence. We send our good thoughts to the Badinan journalists and activists and their families.
 
As an international human rights organization, CPT-IK calls on the Kurdistan Regional and Iraqi Governments, as well as the international state and non-state actors, to take a stance against this injustice and to ensure that during the trial of appeal the rule of law and independent legal process is respected.
 

Update: October 27, 2020

Nineteen days after being abducted by the Kurdistan Regional Government, the whereabouts of CPT partner Sherwan Sherwani’s was finally revealed, even though he continues to be imprisoned.

Muhammed Abdullah, the lawyer of Sherwan Sherwani, was finally able to meet with Sherwan in the Erbil General Security prison today at 1:00 PM.
Speaking over the phone, Muhammed Abdullah told CPT, “After trying multiple times to meet Sherwan Sherwani, I could finally meet him under the surveillance of some security guards. Sherwan was asking for justice in his case.”

CPT contacted Sherwan’s wife, Rugash khan; she said, “I am happy that now we know where Sherwan’s location, but it’s not enough. We ask the KRG to release my husband soon. My kids and I are waiting for Sherwan to come back again.”

__________________________

Sign this letter to urge the Kurdistan Regional Government to disclose Sherwan Sherwani’s location and release him immediately.

On 7 October 2020, a group of ten armed and unidentified men entered Sherwan’s home at 4:30 PM and seized his computer, recorder, camera, and phone. The group then held a gun to Sherwan’s head in front of his wife and children and abducted him. Sherwan’s wife, Rugash Izzaddin Muheiadin, reported this abduction to CPT Iraqi Kurdistan immediately after he was taken. At this moment, Sherwan Sherwani’s family still do not know where he is located.

Days before he was abducted, Sherwan published posts on his Facebook account criticizing Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Sherwan called on representatives to hold the prime minister accountable for the recent killings of journalists and human rights activists in Iraqi Kurdistan. Sherwan was then abducted after he published these Facebook posts. 

For many years, Sherwan has worked as an independent journalist to expose the Kurdistan Regional Government’s corruption. Sherwan and his family have lived under the constant threat of violence from the Kurdistan Regional Government since he started reporting on the government’s corruption. In 2017, Sherwan and his family received multiple death threats from the Kurdistan Regional Government’s secret police, the Asayish. Sherwan contacted CPT Iraqi Kurdistan at this time and requested advocacy and accompaniment for him and his family. 

CPT Iraqi Kurdistan has documented Sherwan being threatened, arrested, and abducted multiple times by the Asayish security forces. The most recent abduction of Sherwan further demonstrates that the Kurdistan Regional Government criminalizes freedom of expression, especially for journalists who expose the government’s corruption. 

We urge the Kurdistan Regional Government to disclose Sherwan Sherwani’s location and release him immediately. 

Join us. Stand in solidarity and sign the petition calling for Sherwan Sherwani’s freedom.

Dear Kurdistan Regional Government,

We urge you to disclose Sherwan Sherwani’s location and release him immediately. On 7 October 2020, an armed and unidentified group abducted Sherwan Sherwani at his home. Since he was abducted, Sherwani’s family has yet to receive any information on where he is located.

Days before Sherwan Sherwani was abducted, he publicly asked for accountability from the Kurdistan Regional Government for the recent killings of journalists and human rights activists in Iraqi Kurdistan. Immediately after publishing his request for accountability, Sherwani was abducted by an armed and unidentified group.

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a legal framework which the Kurdistan Regional Government recognizes, mandates that every person has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, just as Sherwan Sherwani expressed his right to call on the government to be more transparent and accountable to every person who lives under its governance.

Calling for transparency from the government should not be criminalized. Freely expressing one’s opinion as a journalist is not a crime. We urge you to protect the rights of all journalists in Iraqi Kurdistan, including the rights of Sherwan Sherwani.

We urge you to disclose Sherwan Sherwani’s location and release him immediately so he may return to his family.

Sincerely,

Sign the letter. Add your name.

You will receive an automated email confirming that you signed the action. The information you provide will not be sold, rented or shared with third parties
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Free Badinan Prisoners

Sherwan Sherwani is an independent journalist who has worked for many years to expose government corruption. The Kurdistan Regional Government has attempted to silence Sherwan since he started reporting on the government’s corruption. On 7 October 2020, a group of ten armed and unidentified men entered Sherwan’s home and seized his computer, recorder, camera, and phone. The group then held a gun to Sherwan’s head in front of his wife and children and abducted him. At this moment, Sherwan Sherwani’s location is still unknown.

Sign the letter. Add your name.

You will receive an automated email confirming that you signed the action. The information you provide will not be sold, rented or shared with third parties
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Update | October 27: Nineteen days after being abducted by the Kurdistan Regional Government, the whereabouts of CPT partner Sherwan Sherwani’s was finally revealed, even though he continues to be imprisoned.

Muhammed Abdullah, the lawyer of Sherwan Sherwani, was finally able to meet with Sherwan in the Erbil General Security prison today at 1:00 PM.
Speaking over the phone, Muhammed Abdullah told CPT, “After trying multiple times to meet Sherwan Sherwani, I could finally meet him under the surveillance of some security guards. Sherwan was asking for justice in his case.”

CPT contacted Sherwan’s wife, Rugash khan; she said, “I am happy that now we know where Sherwan’s location, but it’s not enough. We ask the KRG to release my husband soon. My kids and I are waiting for Sherwan to come back again.”

__________________________

Sign this letter to urge the Kurdistan Regional Government to disclose Sherwan Sherwani’s location and release him immediately.

On 7 October 2020, a group of ten armed and unidentified men entered Sherwan’s home at 4:30 PM and seized his computer, recorder, camera, and phone. The group then held a gun to Sherwan’s head in front of his wife and children and abducted him. Sherwan’s wife, Rugash Izzaddin Muheiadin, reported this abduction to CPT Iraqi Kurdistan immediately after he was taken. At this moment, Sherwan Sherwani’s family still do not know where he is located.

Days before he was abducted, Sherwan published posts on his Facebook account criticizing Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Sherwan called on representatives to hold the prime minister accountable for the recent killings of journalists and human rights activists in Iraqi Kurdistan. Sherwan was then abducted after he published these Facebook posts. 

For many years, Sherwan has worked as an independent journalist to expose the Kurdistan Regional Government’s corruption. Sherwan and his family have lived under the constant threat of violence from the Kurdistan Regional Government since he started reporting on the government’s corruption. In 2017, Sherwan and his family received multiple death threats from the Kurdistan Regional Government’s secret police, the Asayish. Sherwan contacted CPT Iraqi Kurdistan at this time and requested advocacy and accompaniment for him and his family. 

CPT Iraqi Kurdistan has documented Sherwan being threatened, arrested, and abducted multiple times by the Asayish security forces. The most recent abduction of Sherwan further demonstrates that the Kurdistan Regional Government criminalizes freedom of expression, especially for journalists who expose the government’s corruption. 

We urge the Kurdistan Regional Government to disclose Sherwan Sherwani’s location and release him immediately. 

Join us. Stand in solidarity and sign the petition calling for Sherwan Sherwani’s freedom.

Dear Kurdistan Regional Government,

We urge you to disclose Sherwan Sherwani’s location and release him immediately. On 7 October 2020, an armed and unidentified group abducted Sherwan Sherwani at his home. Since he was abducted, Sherwani’s family has yet to receive any information on where he is located.

Days before Sherwan Sherwani was abducted, he publicly asked for accountability from the Kurdistan Regional Government for the recent killings of journalists and human rights activists in Iraqi Kurdistan. Immediately after publishing his request for accountability, Sherwani was abducted by an armed and unidentified group.

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a legal framework which the Kurdistan Regional Government recognizes, mandates that every person has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, just as Sherwan Sherwani expressed his right to call on the government to be more transparent and accountable to every person who lives under its governance.

Calling for transparency from the government should not be criminalized. Freely expressing one’s opinion as a journalist is not a crime. We urge you to protect the rights of all journalists in Iraqi Kurdistan, including the rights of Sherwan Sherwani.

We urge you to disclose Sherwan Sherwani’s location and release him immediately so he may return to his family.

Sincerely,

Free Badinan Prisoners

CPT Action is an initiative of Christian Peacemaker Teams inviting activists, advocates and allies to take action for peace.

Connect with us for up-to-date news on actions and ways you can participate.

Your contribution sustains our work

Every donation makes a difference

worldwide contributions
Building partnerships to transform violence and oppression
Learn what we stand for

Individual donations make up 60% of our budget

canadian donations
Skip to content