The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (KDPI) issued a statement on 8 August 2021 and said Mousa Babakhani, a member of the party’s central committee, was assassinated in Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq. It blamed the Islamic Republic of Iran for the assassination of its senior member.

Mousa Babakhani, born in 1981 in Bilavar, Kermanshah province, joined the KDPI in 1999. He was based at the party headquarters near Koya, Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Babakhani was a well-known political figure in the Kurdish movement in Iran, especially among activists in Kermanshah province.

On 8 September 2018, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched a missile attack on the KDPI headquarters in Koya, injuring Babakhani and more than 40 other party members. The attack also resulted in the death of sixteen KDPI members.

Babakhani’s assassination comes at a time that less than a month ago, on 14 July, a Kurdish political activist from Sanandaj, Behrouz (Rebin) Rahimi, was killed in Sulaimaniyah, Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Rahimi’s family also blamed the Islamic Republic of Iran for the assassination of the political activist. Zoleykha Nasseri, the activist’s wife, told the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) that the security institutions of the Islamic Republic of Iran continuously threatened them during the years they resided in the Kurdistan region.

The Abdorrahman Boroumand Center for Human Rights (ABC) reported on 27 July that more than 540 Iranians living abroad were murdered and kidnapped in operations it said were linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran. According to the report, 380 of these killings have occurred in Iraqi Kurdistan over the past four decades.

The human rights foundation added: “Since 1979 [revolution], Iranian agents have carried out attacks against hundreds of refugees, most often with impunity, hence their repetition.”

The Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) condemns the assassinations of these political activists by commemorating Mousa Babakhani and Behrouz Rahimi. It also remembers the assassination of Eghbal Moradi on 17 July 2018 and calls on Javaid Rehman, the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran, to conduct the necessary investigations into the role of the Islamic Republic of Iran in these assassinations and to take decisive action to condemn the physical elimination of dissidents by the Iranian government abroad.

The Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) also calls on the Kurdistan Regional Government, on the soil of which the recent assassinations took place, to take a clear stand against the actions of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the killing of Iranian Kurdish political activists and refugees and to fulfil its legal and humanitarian obligation to protect the lives of asylum seekers and refugees in its territory to act in accordance with international standards and cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Javaid Rehman, United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran
Masrour Barzani, Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq
Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq