Security forces today arrested five Kurdish civilians in the cities of Bukan and Shahin Dej, West Azerbaijan Province, allegedly in connection with their participation in Newroz (also known as Nowruz in Persian) celebrations.

Edris Haji-Rasoulpour, the brother of Mohammad Haji-Rasoulpour, who was killed during the Women, Life, Freedom anti-government uprising in Bukan, was arrested without a warrant during a raid on his home in the city.

At the same time, security forces raided the homes of Rahman Khosravi, Osman Abbasi, Shahram Soltani and Hemin Alizadeh in the village of Haji Abad in Shahin Dej, beating and arresting them.

The exact location of the civilians’ detention and the charges against them remain unknown.

In recent weeks, the Intelligence Organisation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Ministry of Intelligence agents have summoned or arrested dozens of people across various cities in Kurdistan, including activists and artists, for participating in or organising Newroz celebrations.