The Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) has prepared this report on the occasion of 8 March, International Women’s Day, to point to cases of suicide, femicide, arrest, and imprisonment of Kurdish women activists from 8 March 2021 to 8 March 2022 in Iran.


Since last International Women’s Day, at least 78 women and young girls committed suicide in different parts of Iranian Kurdistan and lost their lives. These included 15 teenage girls under the age of 18.

The main reasons for these suicides are said to be “domestic disputes”, “poverty”, “objection to forced marriage”, “depression”, and “obstruction of further education”.

Most of these individuals were married residents of Orumiyeh in West Azerbaijan province, northwestern Iran, and ended their lives by hanging themselves.


The KHRN has also recorded 34 cases of femicide in this period in the provinces of West Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Kermanshah, and Ilam directly through its own sources or citing other reliable ones.

“Financial disputes”, “domestic disputes”, “honour issues”, “rejection of marriage proposal”, etc. were among the reasons for these murders.

Among these femicide victims were six women who were killed by assailants when they were accidentally present during the murder of other women. They were the friends, mothers, or sisters of the women who were the main targets of the murders.

Of the total number of women killed, 14 were in Kermanshah province (cities of Kermanshah, Harsin, Sonqor, and Ravansar), four in Ilam province (Ilam and Darreh Shahr), nine in Kurdistan province (Sanandaj, Saqqez, and Marivan), and five in West Azerbaijan province (Piranshahr, Sardasht, and Takab).

In addition, one woman was from Kermanshah who was a resident of Sari in Mazandaran province, northern Iran, and one from Sanandaj, residing in Hamadan, northwestern Iran.

Also, 29 of these women lived in urban areas and five in rural areas. These included four single and 30 married women.

Some 17 of these women were killed by their husbands, two by their ex-husbands, two by their fathers, five by their sons-in-law, three by the men they rejected to marry, one by her brother, one by her friend’s husband, one by her son, one by father-in-law, and another by a man with whom the victim was not related.

In these cases of femicide, 20 women were killed with guns, five with knives, two by being beaten and burnt, two by being beaten to death, three by being burnt, one by being strangled, and one by being deliberately thrown from a moving car.

The names of these women are:

Jiran Yaghoubpour, Homeira Bazgir Khorramabadi, Golaleh Sheikhi, Shakiba Bakhtiar, Bayan Moradi, Sahar Moradi, Monireh Ghaderi, Shilan Mondami, Ayesheh Aslani, Sara Pirzadi, Homa Hajipour, Saada Espandar, Sabri Khalatbari, Marzieh Hasseli, Faezeh Maleki, Leyla Shakiba, Golaleh Dehar, Asiyeh Akbari, Arezou Olfati, Negar Ahmadi, Sorayya Yari, Sahar Moradi, Fatemeh Sadeghi, Tahereh Shafiei, and 10 other women whose names are not known.

Arrests and imprisonments

During this one-year period, as in previous years, women activists in different cities of Kurdistan, while carrying out activities and trying to combat violence against women, have in some cases held protest rallies in different cities.

For example, on 6 October 2021, following the murder of Faezeh Maleki by her father, a group of women activists and women’s rights activists held a protest rally in front of the Sanandaj courthouse in northwestern Iran.

Between 8 March 2021 and 8 March 2022, Iranian security forces arrested at least 23 Kurdish women civilians and activists.

Some of these individuals have been released on bail and others are either still in custody or have been imprisoned following prison sentences given by Iranian courts.

In addition, at least nine Kurdish women are held in Iranian prisons as political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.

These include Zeynab Jalalian with a life sentence in Yazd Prison, Snour Khalifani with 15 years in prison for her alleged “membership in the Islamic State (IS)” in Orumiyeh Central Prison, Snour Tamara (Turkish citizen charged with membership in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)) with 10 years and one day in Orumiyeh Central Prison, Zara Mohammadi with five years in Sanandaj Central Prison, Sakineh Parvaneh with five years in Mashhad Prison, Soheila Hijab with five years in Kermanshah Prison, Khadijeh Mehdipour with 20 months in Ilam Prison, and Saada Khedirzadeh and Golaleh Moradi with temporary detention in Orumiyeh Central Prison.

The names of the rest of the women who were either detained for shorter periods or released on bail are as follows:

Sofieh Mamashpour, Marzieh Gholam-Veysi, Viyan Mohammadi, Faranak Jamshidi, Sorayya Haghdoust, Zhina Hassani-Moghaddam, Anisa Jafari-Mehr, Nahid Kamangar, Azimeh Nasseri, Somayyeh Kargar, Chro Ahmadi, Tara Ahmadi, Sonya Karimi, Parya Fathi, Halimeh Toureh, Maryam Sadeghi, Roya Jalali, Kazhal Nasri, Mozhgan Kavousi, Shna Ahmadi, Shahnaz Sadeghifar, Zamaneh Zivieh, Roya Mohyeddini, Hajar Saeidi, Azhin Rahmani, Arezou Latifi, Somayyeh Ghoreishi, Varan (Asra) Mohammadnezhad, Gozal Hajizadeh