The “Week in brief” by Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) is a weekly review of the most important human rights news and developments from and about Iran’s Kurdish areas.


Iran government aid not enough to help earthquake victims

Residents of Iranian Kurdish areas hit by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake have said that the government is not providing adequate relief and that the government agencies have not helped the victims in the cities of Qasr-e-Shirin, Sar-Pol-e Zahab and Salas-Babajani.

The quake killed 460 and injured 7,460 people, according to reports of the office of Kermanshah Forensic Medicine, although the figured are claimed to be much higher by unofficial sources.

Residents of Sar-Pol-e Zahab and Salas-Babajani have told KHRN that the delay of the arrival of relief led locals to take out bodies of their loved ones from rubbles of their homes with their own hands.

A civil activist, who has been at the villages around Ezgeleh area along with other volunteer teams, said: “Many of the villages in these area have been completely destroyed and people have made fire in the streets to keep warm at night due to lack of heating equipment. The few tents sent to the villages have been distributed among families of officials. Moreover, few donations sent to these areas have not been distributed fairly”.

The activist said the situation is a “disgrace” as locals lack basic necessities such as food, water, medicine and tends in the the villages of Kuik, Dasht Zahab, Sarab Javari, Ghale Bahadori and Bamiramabad.

Several residents of Sar-Pol-e Zahab said the situation has remained “critical”.

The victims who merely survived added that most of the destroyed homes were built by Mehr Housing Estates, which had not followed housing regulations at the time it built the homes.

The residents said state-run relief agencies had arrived but did not have the equipment needed to help those under the rubble and debris, adding that locals and aid workers, as well as soldier, had worked very hard together to dig out bodies, heal the wounds of the injured and provide support for families of the victims.

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Four prisoners executed in Iran’s Orumiyeh Central Prison

Four death row prisoners were executed at Orumiyeh Central Prison on 13 November.

They were taken to solitary confinement cells of the prison a day before they were executed.

KHRN sources said the executed prisoners were Morteza Gholipour, Mehdi Hajizadeh, Gobad Moradi and Ramin Eshghim.

The executed prisoners were all from the Miandoab area.

Nine prisoners were sentenced to death but only those four prisoners were executed.

KHRN sources said the implementation of the death sentences of the other five prisoners was suspended and that they have now been returned to their cells.

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13-year-old girl commits suicide in Sardasht

A teenage girl, 13, ended her life by hanging herself in the town of Sardasht on 14 November, allegedly due to family problems.

She lived with her family in Dahhabi village of Sardasht, according to local KHRN sources.

Her mother previously ended her life also allegedly because of family problems, according to reports.

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Prisoner self-immolates in Iran’s Zahedan Central Prison

A young prisoner charged with robbery and detained in Ward 5 of Zahedan Central Prison self-immolated on 12 November to protest against the prison’s authorities refusing to transfer him to a youth section.

Rasoul Barakzahi, 23, imprisoned for robbery, self-immolated after the prison authorities refused his request.

His cellmates had interfered and extinguished the fire quickly, a reliable source told KHRN.

“Only a small part of the prisoner’s neck has been burned as a result of his self-immolation but his health condition has [remained] critical,” a KHRN source said.

The source added that Barakzahi was taken to the prison’s medical clinic and he was forcefully taken to a solitary confinement cell afterward as punishment instead of taking him to a hospital to receive medical treatment.

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