Security forces have arrested at least 14 Kurdish activists in the city of Oshnavieh, West Azerbaijan Province, and several surrounding villages in recent days and taken them to an undisclosed location.

Those arrested include Yousef Haji Khosh, Rahim Rafati, Fakhraddin Modarresi, Omid Rashid-Pak, Arman Ebrahimi, Salah Ghazi, Hesamoddin Mahmoudi, Mowloud Rousta, Hassan Rasouli, Jafar Rasouli, Mohammad Soltanpour, Ghafour Sheikh-Mohammadi, Hadi Lawa and Ako Ebrahimi.

Hadi Lawa, a Kurdish singer, Ghafour Sheikh-Mohammadi, Ako Ebrahimi, Mohammad Soltanpour, and Jafar Rasouli were arrested at their homes in Oshnavieh on 30 April.

On 1 May, three other activists, Hesamoddin Mahmoudi, Mowloud Rousta, and Hassan Rasouli were arrested in the city.

Additionally, on the evening of the same day, security forces raided the house of Yousef Haji Khosh, a member of the Central Council and Executive Committee of the United Kurdish Front, in the village of Kona Ghala and arrested him while beating him.

On 2 May, Salah Ghazi was arrested in the village of Gundeh Vileh in Oshnavieh, while Arman Ebrahimi, Omid Rashid-Pak, Rahim Rafati, and Fakhraddin Modarresi were arrested in other areas of the city.

The arrests of these individuals were reportedly carried out mainly by the Intelligence Organisaiton of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and are linked to the organisation of this year’s Newroz (also known as Nowruz in Persian) celebrations in the region.