'No justification for taking someone’s life'

Sulaymaniyah court postpones final hearing in Khwanas Wrya murder case

SULAYMANIYAH — The Sulaymaniyah Court has delayed the final hearing in the murder case of theatre actor Khwanas Wrya until June 25, 2024, at the request of the defense lawyer. The decision came unexpectedly as the hearing was initially scheduled for today.

Karzan Fazil, the attorney representing the case, informed 964media that during the first court session in March, he advocated for the murder to be classified as a terrorist act. “He was killed with ten bullets in broad daylight in the Chamchamal market,” Fazil explained, highlighting the premeditated nature of the attack.

Wrya, a prominent young actor from the Chamchamal district of Sulaymaniyah, was fatally shot by a motorcyclist on June 22, 2023. His murder not only shocked the local community but also ignited widespread debate throughout the Kurdistan Region about the interplay of religious beliefs and personal freedom.

The suspect, Hersh Karim, a member of the security forces, was arrested within 24 hours of the incident. According to reports, Karim, influenced by radical Islamist beliefs, had declared on social media that he “would not allow insult to the Prophet of God,” accusing Wrya of such actions.

The postponement of today’s hearing also led to the deferment of a press conference that Wrya’s family had scheduled. Wrya Nazm, the actor’s father, stated, “Due to the postponement of the hearing, we have also postponed our press conference until the next court session.”

Wrya was known for his outspoken views on religious topics. This incident has sparked significant discussion on the limits of religious criticism and freedom of expression in the region. A resurfaced video of Wrya discussing the sanctity of life underscores the tragic irony of his murder, as he noted, “There is no justification for taking someone’s life and committing murder.”