March 24, 2006 - Updated on January 20, 2016

Trial of Kamal Sayid Qadir adjourned yet again

The trial of Kamal Sayid Qadir, due to have opened on 20 March 2006, has been adjourned again but no new start date has been announced. Reporters Without Borders is concerned about the procrastination of Kurdish justice, which has been holding a man in prison since 26 October 2005 whose only crime was to post articles on the Internet that were deemed to be defamatory of Iraqi Kurdistan President, Massud Barzani. ------------------------ 10.03.2006 Trial of cyberdissident Kamal Sayid Qadir postponed The trial of Austrian jurist of Kurdish origin, Kamal Sayid Qadir, which was due to open on 9 March 2006, has been postponed to 20 March. His sister, Galawej Sayid Qadir, who lives in Germany, said that another sister, Aras, living in Iraqi Kurdistan, has been told she can no longer visit her brother. The head of security for Arbil reportedly said that she “was talking to foreign media too much.” --------------------------------- 03.03.2006 Reporters Without Borders has urged the UN in Iraq and the Austrian president to intervene on behalf of cyberdissident Kamal Sayid Qadir Reporters Without Borders wrote on 3 March to the UN Human Rights mission in Iraq, and to Austrian president Heinz Fischer, urging them to make contact with the authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan to secure the release of jurist Kamal Sayid Qadir, who has been imprisoned since 26 October 2005. -------------------------- Letter sent to the UN Human Rights mission in Iraq: "Reporters Without Borders, an international organisation that defends press freedom, urges you to intervene with the Kurdish authorities to seek the release of Kamal Sayid Qadir, an Austrian jurist of Kurdish origin, who was sentenced to 30 year in prison on 19 December 2005 for “defamation of public institutions”. Kamal Sayid Qadir is accused of insulting and denigrating Massud Barzani, President of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan, in articles posted on the Internet. On 26 February 2006, this conviction was quashed when the cyberdissident made a new appearance before a Kurdish court, without it being known what charges were being pressed against him. The next hearing is due on 9 March. He has been held since 26 October 2005 at Erbil prison in the autonomous region of Kurdistan, in northern Iraq. In an interview given from his cell to local radio Nawa, on 26 February, he said he had been tortured and received death threats from leading figures in the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). He also reported that he had been deprived of food and drink for three days. The authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan have several times since January announced that his release was imminent, but nothing has ever come of it. Even if Kamal Sayid Qadir had effectively denigrated the president, his articles do not in any way represent a threat to the institutions of Iraqi Kurdistan. Reporters Without Borders strongly condemns his continued detention. We urge you to put pressure on the Kurdistan government to put a quick end to this unjustified imprisonment. I trust you will give this request your careful consideration." Letter signed by Robert Ménard, Secretary General of Reporters Without Borders. The letter sent to the Austrian president ------------- Create your blog with Reporters without borders: