After 20 days, seven Kurdish activists are still in detention in Erbil



seven_protesters_release_campaignFollowing the new wave of Kurdish political executions in Iran, protests were organized in major capitals to condemn the executions.

Rojahalti Kurds (Kurdish in Iran) marched in the streets of the cities of Mariwan and Saqiz under the harshest security conditions imposed on the Kurdish region of Iran by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Protests were also organized in Turkey and Iraq, particularly in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, best know as KRG.

One of the protests was organized in Erbil, capital city of KRG, on November 8, 2013.

When the peaceful protesters dispersed, a group of angry protesters stormed the compound of the Iranian regime consulate in Erbil.  The security services of Erbil city had called some of the organizers to the scene and demanded answers. They were detained and are still kept at Mahata prison in Erbil without much answer.

They are apparently charged under the Article 10 of the protest law, ratified by Kurdistan Region Parliament; however, the law is not applicable here.  They have done nothing wrong, and during the period and the premises that they obtained the protest permit for, the protest was peaceful.

Police or security forces can keep in detention individuals suspected of committing an offence for a maximum period of 24 hours, and further detention must be authorized by a judge.  According to acquainted sources, thus far, their case has not been brought before a judge; therefore their detention is unlawful.

The supporters of the 7 detainees argue that they should be accorded the right to appear before a judge with their attorneys, but until then, they should be freed on bail.

The ‘presumption of innocence till proven guilty’ is a basic requirement for any functioning democracy with minimum rule of law.  KRG enjoys an unprecedented level of freedom and openness compared to the rest of the region, earned with blood and sacrifice; nevertheless, it must not infringe on the basic rights of Rojhalati Kurds who have escaped their homeland due to the excessive injustice and brutalities of the regime of Islamic Republic; furthermore, KRG should not tarnish its reputation by this unnecessary prolonged detention, to possibly appease or please a bunch of Quds militia forces stationed in a garrison in Erbil.

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