Nineveh court sentences Yazidi man to death for 'willful killing'

Nineveh, Yazidi people consider Khalid Shamo innocent who has been sentenced to death by Nineveh Court, February, 2020 .Photo:Ibrahim Yazidi

Ammar Aziz- Sinjar

Khalid Shamo, 21, a Yazidi, has been sentenced to death for ‘willful killing.’ His case is on the edge of turning to a tribal and ethnic conflict.

Shamo’s family reaffirm that their son is innocent. At the same time, the tribe of the killed person wants to demand their rights through the rule of law. The court rejects that it has made a mistake in the determination of the case.

The disputed had emerged since February 4 when the Criminal Court of Nineveh decided to sentence Shamo to death under Anti-terror law.

Aziz Mohammed Said, head of the administration department in the Nineveh’s high court, said, “the court does not make any decision without evidence. Evidence exist that Shamo was involved in killing that person.”

Shamo is sentenced to death for killing Faris Nawaf, 28, in August 2017 at the Iraqi side of the Iraqi Syrian border in Sinjar.

Faris Nawaf, 28, was killed in 2017

Naif Jardo Ahmad, the representative of Gar Gari tribe, said, “Faris Nawaf was killed before the October 16, 2017 events (when the disputed areas were under the Kurdish rule) by some of his friends at the Iraqi Syrian border as Faris was a trader at the border.”

“The problem is not related to the tension between the GarGari tribe and the Yazidis. It is right that Faris was killed among the Yazidis, but we have not accused anyone, and his father has turned to take his rights back.”

The Yazidi suspects were arrested after two months of the killing and have been entered into prison for more than two years, waiting for the court’s decision.

Among a part of the Yazidi people, the execution of Khalid Shamo is rejected and consider him innocent.

Shamo Sarhan, Khalid’s father, said, “the decision of the court is unjust because my son is not a killer and he was in Qadiya IDP camp in Zakho during the incident, and there is witness to that.”

He was in Qadiya IDP camp in Zakho during the incident

Khalid Shamo’s family has lived in displacement for five years in a camp in Zakho.

“My son has never gone to the Iraqi Syrian border. I do not know how he has been found guilty of that crime. So, we will not be silent and will demonstrate.”

On February 16, Yazidi people demonstrated against the decision in the center of Sinjar district. They called for the nullification of the decision.

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Nineveh, Yazidi protest against curt's decision to excecute Shamo, February 2020, Photo: Ibrahim Yazidi

Idris Sarhan, a friend and a neighbor of Hawre’s family, said, “on the day that the Person form GarGari tribe was killed, Khalid was in the camp. We together participated in the anniversary of ISIS attacks in Sinajr on August 3. I explained this in the court only to reveal the truth.”

Sarhan stated that on the day of the incident Police Department of Zakho arrested Khalid Shamo with the charges of arranging protests. It proves that Shamo was no present in the place of killing the person. The police seized his mobile phone, and they deleted all pictures and videos of that day.”

Nineveh Court’s decision to execute Shamo has not reached its final phase, meaning that the family of Shamo can appeal the decision.

“The decision will be reexamined by the Court of Cassation. In the court, fourteen judges will reexamine the facts in detail. If they agree, then the decision will be implemented,” said Azii Mohammed, head of administration department in the court.

Fourteen judges will reexamine the facts in detail

Mohammed explained that the reexamination of the case might change the decision to life imprisonment or a period of years, and it is up to the court.

“It is correct that the father of the killed youth is angry, but he has not threatened anyone or any ethnic group. He has only filed a lawsuit to the court,” Nayf Jardo, representative of GarGari tribe, said.

Jardo accused groups of people of exaggerating the issue, aiming at creating tension between the Yazidis and GarGario tribe.

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 Shamo Nineveh, a Yazidi delegation visit Nineveh court to discuss the decision to excecute Shamo, Ferbruary 2020. Photo: Media office of Jawhar Ali.

A delegation of Yazidi figures visited Nineveh Court to discuss the Shamo’s case and prevent tensions.

Jawhar Ali Bag, deputy head of Yazidi Mir for relations affairs and media, said, “we are against issues and violence with the Gar Gari tribe, so there are productive meetings and negotiations between us, with the help of God, we will reach a solution.”

Ali Bag does not think that Shamo is guilty of killing because, “ther is adequate evidence and a witness, and reaffirmed that their attempts are in the direction of canceling Shamo’s execution.

According to a statement issued by the court, two suspects were released due to not having sufficient evidence, and the court of cassation is supposed to finish the reexamination of the case within 30 days.

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