Security forces arrested Kurdish activists Ayoub Rasoulzadeh and Haji Barzeh on 8 May in Piranshahr, West Azerbaijan Province, and took them to an undisclosed location.

The Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) has learned that Rasoulzadeh, an environmental activist, and Barzeh, a civil rights activist and brother of the Kurdish political prisoner Bapir Barzeh, were arrested without a warrant.

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

The arrests were reportedly made by the intelligence Organisation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in connection with their involvement in the celebration of Newroz (also known as Nowruz in Persian) in the region.

In recent weeks, IRGC Intelligence 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.