The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence has arrested “more than 40 Kurdish activists and civilians” in the cities of Sanandaj, Kamyaran, Marivan, Saqqez, Baneh and Divandarah over the past months for “political and religious activities,” local sources told the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN).
The KHRN has learned that detainees are all currently held at the Ministry of Intelligence Detention Centre “undergoing interrogation and pressure.”
The KHRN previously published a report on the separate and collective arrests in the Kurdish areas since the fall of last year following the appointment of a new Director-General for the Sanandaj Intelligence Office in the Kurdistan Province. The Iranian government has taken similar measures in a number of cities in the provinces of West Azerbaijan and Kermanshah.
The Ministry of Intelligence and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) aim at spreading fear in the majority Kurdish cities through widespread arrests and militarisation of the border areas to prevent the movement of the Kurdish opposition parties that have
The local sources have told the KHRN that “at least 22 Kurdish activists and civilians are currently held at the Ministry of Intelligence Detention Centre in Sanandaj for allegedly collaborating with the Kurdish opposition parties.” The activists are said to be under pressure to cooperate with the government’s security forces against the Kurdish opposition parties. Similarly, the interrogators urge detainees to make video interviews against the Kurdish opposition parties and cooperate with the intelligence bureau and the IRGC as an anti-propaganda mechanism to degrade the Kurdish opposition parties.
The KHRN has obtained names of the Kurdish civilians and activists who are currently held at the Ministry of Intelligence Detention Centre in Sanandaj as follows:
Akbar Goyli (civil rights activist) Aug 20, 2019
Menat Rahmani and Sirwan Ibrahimi: members of the Nojin Cultural-Social Association arrested on June 26 2019. Arman Qeitasi (Artist). Borhan Kamangar (Artist), Behzad Kamangar (civil rights activist), Sirwan Moradi (Poet and Artist), Rafiq Kaki (civil rights activist), Mohamad Khateri and Sarkawtt Goudarzi on Aug 6 and 7, 2019
Ali Rezaee and Omid Salehi from Goize Kaviri Village, Fateh Hooshmand (Environmentalist) from Yangeh village. Goran Ghorbani (Environmentalist), Yadgar Deljoo, Shahoo Akhtar Kavan, Hamdi Akhtar Kawan, Khalid Soori and Abdollah Weisi on July 14, 2019, Parvin Adwai (civil rights activist) on July 27, 2019.
Aram Nikpey and Abdollah Bashtam from “Ney village” Aug 18, 2019
Some of these detainees have only managed to make short phone calls to their families and inform them about their detention at the Intelligence Office. They have been denied the right to meet their families in person.
The KHRN has also been informed that “more than 20 Kurdish Sunni civilians” have been detained on charges of religious activities in various cities, where they have been interrogated while detained in “solitary confinement” at the Ministry of Intelligence Detention Centre in Sanandaj for more than three months. The Sunni civilians are under pressure to make false confessions, and they have been deprived of family visits, local sources told the KHRN.
Additionally, in recent months, “at least 20 environmental activists and members of the Kurdistan National Unity Party (KNUP) of the Kurdistan Province Branch have been detained by intelligence agencies in the cities of Sanandaj, Kamyaran and Marivan. Some of those activists were released on bail after completing months of interrogation. However, several of the detainees, including Hossein Kamangar and Basam Moradi are still in temporary custody at the Kamyaran Prison.