Security services in Sardasht and Oshnavieh in West Azerbaijan Province have summoned and detained some Kurdish artists who held a memorial ceremony for the Kurdish artist and political activist Taher Khalili, who recently passed away in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

The event, held in a private garden in Sardasht, paid tribute to Khalili by performing one of his revolutionary songs.

Following the widespread circulation of a video recording of the ceremony, security forces in Oshnavieh and Sardasht summoned the participating artists and detained them for several hours.

A source in Sardasht who spoke to the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) said: “Security forces first detained Hassan Agha Shinoyi in the city of Sardasht and later summoned other participating artists, including Khedr Ghaderi, Salah Khezri, Khaled Avindar, Herish Beytoushi and Karim Dafei.

The source continued: “These artists were forcibly taken to a hall inside the governor’s building in Sardasht, where they were forced to read a statement denouncing Kurdish opposition parties and perform a rendition of Ey Iran [an Iranian patriotic song that serves as the country’s unofficial national anthem] under duress and physical coercion.

After security forces recorded a video, the artists were released after providing a written undertaking, the source added.

The KHRN has learned that, in a parallel development, a number of other Oshnavieh artists who had attended the memorial ceremony for Taher Khalili were summoned to the offices of the city’s security services and released after several hours of questioning and the submission of a written undertaking.

Taher Khalili, a revered Kurdish artist and political activist from Bukan, West Azerbaijan Province, died on 26 November in Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan Region of Iraq. One of his most famous patriotic compositions was “La Qandili Sarbarzawa”.