Sherwan's predicament is part of what has been described by Amnesty International as human rights abuse in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. According to investigations by Amnesty International, ‘In mid-August 2020, widespread protests erupted in the KR-I, mainly in Sulaimaniyah, Duhok and Erbil, demanding an end to corruption, better public services, and the payment of overdue salaries of government employees'.
In the aftermath, authorities in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) launched a mass campaign of arrests against activists, protesters and journalists covering the protests under the pretext of preserving “national security”’ (see Amnesty International Press Release).
He was arrested in September 2020, and held without charge until September 6, 2021. For the first four months of his arrest, his family were not told where he was or if he was alive. He has had almost no access to a lawyer. On September 6, 2021, he was charged with High Treason (which carries the death penalty). Sherwan and his group of political prisoners immediately started a hunger strike after the charges were read. Tragically, his mother died from a heart attack due to the stress from the situation, the day before this trial.
A Country Policy Note from the UK Home Office is found at this link, and is highly informative. It is also attached together with other relevant documents.
Sherwan is an adult educator committed to social justice, and we call on all who read this to campaign on his behalf. His trial is October 6, 2021.
Here is the link to the Petition: https://chng.it/RhWVLPWMVK
Sherwan Taha Ameen graduated (with distinction) from the School of Education at the University of Glasgow with a Master’s in Teaching Adults in 2015. Jwan Hussein, his wife, also graduated (with Merit) from UoG in 2015 with a Master’s of Science in Forensic Toxicology. They live in the north of Iraq, in Duhok, with their two children. Sherwan has been working at Nawroz University in Duhok as an English Language Lecturer, as well as working as an adult educator. He has also taken part in international projects, including with PASCAL Observatory’s Learning Cities Network, which itself collaborates closely with UNESCO.