Imprisoned Kurdish journalist Sherwan Amin Sherwani has been held in solitary confinement for nearly two months and was allegedly tortured by security forces in Erbil on “politically motivated charges”, his lawyer, wife and rights groups say.
Sherwani – editor-in-chief of monthly magazine Bashur, which is critical of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region’s political elite – was arrested at his home in Sebiran, a village on the outskirts of the capital Erbil, on October 7.
He was critical of authorities in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq on social media, especially the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the powerful Barzani family based in Erbil and Duhok provinces.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has been called out by international watchdogs for abusing human rights, restricting the civil liberties, freedom of expression, and freedom of the media.
Muhamad Abdulla, a lawyer defending Sherwani, told Al Jazeera in a phone interview his psychological state is deteriorating after being held in solitary confinement for more than 50 days.
“I met my client at Erbil General Security Directorate for only several minutes where Sherwani told me he has been tortured,” Abdulla said.
“His imprisonment has no legal basis. It is rather politically motivated since he is writing about the corruption of the Kurdistan region’s authorities.”
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