The Free Yezidi Foundation met with Basima Darwesh in Erbil at the Women’s and Juvenile Detention Center on 25 January to look into her welfare and her legal representation. We met her once again on 19 February in anticipation of her forthcoming court date.

For several weeks following the initial meeting, the Free Yezidi Foundation has worked to help provide her with further legal representation, upon her direct request to us. We believe that, as stipulated by national and regional law, Basima should have the right to retain any registered attorneys that she chooses.
In dialogue with KRG officials, FYF discussed the importance of Basima’s access to social services, legal representation, and monitors. We recognize the KRG decision to grant the Free Yezidi Foundation access to Basima.

Although representation by our full team of lawyers has not been achieved, thankfully we have been partially successful in our efforts. One of the lawyers has been granted Power of Attorney for Basima. FYF is proud to do its part, alongside a highly respected international organisation, to help cover the related legal fees. We hope and expect that her expanded defense team will better represent her during the trial, which is slated to begin on 21 February.

The efforts of the Free Yezidi Foundation have been specifically and exclusively to ensure that Basima Darwesh, a Yezidi survivor, is granted genuine legal representation to the fullest extent, as stipulated by the laws of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. Hereby we want to state that we are dedicated to making sure Basima has legal defense and her rights are respected.
I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to those friends who have expressed concern about this case and helped along the way, and also our appreciation to all of those who have heard our requests and demonstrated respect for the rule of law.

FYF will issue further statements if and when necessary regarding this trial.

– Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director
Free Yezidi Foundation