Investigations carried out by the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) show that various human rights violations have taken place in Iranian Kurdistan in May 2021. In addition to these violations, the KHRN has also collected information on the difficulties Iranian Kurdish asylum seekers and workers face in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
Following are the information collected by the statistics and documentation centre of the KHRN in regards to these violations:
Tortures in Prisons
On 17 May, a prisoner named Ali Rezaei lost his life under the torture of prison officers in Orumiyeh Central Prison.
In the past month, at least 23 activists and civil rights activists were detained in various cities across Iranian Kurdistan. Labour activists Sheys Amani and Houshang Karimi were detained at the beginning of the month for their participation in the International Workers’ Day celebrations and were released at a later date. Journalist Kaveh Mehdipour was arrested for writing a piece in which he criticized Ebrahim Raisi, the Chief Justice of Iran, and journalist Amin Mohammadi was detained following a complaint by a governmental office.
While there is yet no information on the latest situation of seven detained civilians Daryush Khaledian, Mohsen Saeidi, Bahman Esmaeili, Ali Allah-Veysi, Ghassem Azizian, Loghman Nikzad, and Soran Sharifian, most of the detainees were taken to the detention centres of the Ministry of Intelligence in Orumiyeh and Shiraz, the detention centres of the Intelligence Organisation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Orumiyeh and Sanandaj, and to the prisons of Orumiyeh, Saqqez, and Mahabad.
|Name||Detention location||Detention date||Activity||Detention location and latest status|
|1||Sheys Amani||Sanandaj||1-May-21||Labour activist||Participation in International Workers’ Day celebrations, released|
|2||Houshang Karimi||Sanandaj||1-May-21||Labour activist||Participation in International Workers’ Day celebrations, released|
|3||Saryad Menbari||Sanandaj||1-May-21||Civilian||Detention centre of the Ministry of Intelligence in Orumiyeh|
|4||Zagros Abbasi||Sanandaj||1-May-21||Civilian||Detention centre of the Ministry of Intelligence in Orumiyeh|
|5||Ahmad Azizi||Sanandaj||1-May-21||Civilian||Detention centre of the Ministry of Intelligence in Orumiyeh|
|6||Khaled Esmaeili||Naqadeh||3-May-21||Civilian||Taken to Orumiyeh Central Prison|
|7||Nader Mehri||Orumiyeh||3-May-21||Civilian||Taken to Orumiyeh Central Prison|
|8||Sirous Mowloudi||Shiraz||1-May-21||Civilian||From Mahabad, Detention centre of the Ministry of Intelligence in Shiraz|
|9||Viyan Mohammadi||Tehran||1-May-21||Civilian, student||From Marivan, taken to the detention centre of the Intelligence Organisation of the IRGC in Orumiyeh|
|13||Ali Allah-Veysi||Sanandaj||9-May-21||Civilian, student||Unknown|
|14||Mahmoud Salehi||Saqqez||16-May-21||Labour activist||Taken to Saqqez Prison|
|15||Osman Esmaeili||Saqqez||16-May-21||Labour activist||Taken to Saqqez Prison|
|16||Soleyman Karimpour||Mahabad||18-May-21||Civilian||Taken to Mahabad Prison to serve two-year imprisonment|
|17||Rahman Khan-Ahmadi||Orumiyeh||19-May-21||Civilian||Taken to Orumiyeh Central Prison|
|18||Kaveh Mehdipour||Darreh Shahr||19-May-21||Journalist||Arrested for writing a piece against Ebrahim Raisi, the Chief Justice of Iran|
|19||Amin Mohammadi||Holeylan, Ilam||18-May-21||Journalist||Complaint of a governmental office|
|21||Loghman Nikzad||Sardoush village, Marivan||23-May-21||Civilian||Unknown|
|23||Kamal Azizi||Shiyan village, Sanandaj||26-May-21||Civilian||Detained after being summoned on phone call to the Intelligence Organisation of the IRGC in Sanandaj|
Kolbars and Tradesmen
In May, three kolbars Farzad Jabbari, Zabet Elkhani, and Ghobad Rahmani lost their lives in various incidents in the border areas of Orumiyeh, Salmas, and Sarpol-e Zahab, respectively. Ten other kolbars were injured in the border areas of Baneh, Nowsud, Piranshahr, and Chaldoran. Of these ten, Nader Saberi was injured in a landmine explosion in Nowsud border areas and Hassan Alam-Holo was shot by Turkish armed forces.
Additionally, tradesman Sohbat Samadi-Nasab was shot in his car by Iranian police while he was traveling on Dalahu Road. He was severely injured and eventually lost his life in hospital a few days later.
|Name||From||Incident location||Incident date||Dead/injured||Description|
|1||Sohbat Samadi-Nasab||Dalahu||Dalahu||3-May-21||Dead||Tradesman, car shot by the police|
|2||Masoud Mohammadi||Baneh||Baneh border areas||5-May-21||Injured|
|3||Nader Saberi||Kamyaran||Nowsud border areas||6-May-21||Injured||Landmine explosion|
|4||Ako Ghaderi||Piranshahr||Piranshahr border areas||10-May-21||Injured|
|5||Farzad Jabbari||Orumiyeh||Orumiyeh border areas||10-May-21||Dead||Drowning in river|
|6||Mohammad Mirzaei||Naqadeh||Piranshahr border areas||12-May-21||Injured|
|7||Hassan Alam-Holo||Maku||Chaldoran border areas||12-May-21||Injured||Shot by Turkish armed forces|
|8||Kosar Rostamnezhad||Paveh||Nowsud border areas||12-May-21||Injured|
|9||Akram Rostamnezhad||Paveh||Nowsud border areas||12-May-21||Injured||Falling from height|
|10||Zabet Elkhani||Salmas||Salmas border areas||16-May-21||Dead||46 years old|
|11||Yousef Amini||Baneh||Baneh border areas||17-May-21||Injured|
|12||Ghobad Rahmani||Sarpol-e Zahab||Sarpol-e Zahab border areas||26-May-21||Dead||27 years old, father of two|
|13||Mohammad Rahmani||Baneh||Baneh border areas||30-May-21||Injured|
|14||Mohammad Sadeghi||Baneh||Baneh border areas||31-May-21||Injured|
In addition to kolbar Nader Saberi mentioned above, four farmers suffered injuries in landmine explosions in May. While the name of one of the farmers, who comes from Eslamabad-e Gharb, could not be determined by the KHRN team, the other three farmers are known to be Abdollah Sarafraz from Sardasht, Hossein Asadi from Chuin village of Marivan, and Sherko Mohammadpour from Boyuran village of Sardasht.
|Name||Explosion location||Incident date||Status||Description|
|2||Abdollah Sarafraz||Sardasht||12-May-21||Injured||Farmer, 23 years old|
|3||Unknown||Eslamabad-e Gharb||19-May-21||Injured||Farmer, 45 years old|
|4||Hossein Asadi||Chuin village, Marivan||20-May-21||Injured||Farmer|
|5||Sherko Mohammadpour||Boyuran village, Sardasht||25-May-21||Injured||Farmer|
At least four workers in the past month lost their lives in workplace accidents. One of these incidents took place in Sulaymaniyah in Kurdistan Region of Iraq, two in Marivan in Kurdistan province of Iran, and one in Kermanshah in Iran.
In May, Iranian courts in Bukan, Mahabad, Saqqez, and Sanandaj sentenced six Kurdish people to various prison sentences. Of these, Mohammad Moradi and Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini were sentenced to 40 years in prison and internal exile to Orumiyeh Central Prison on charges of “armed insurrection through membership in the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (KDPI)”. Activists Simko Maroufi, Mahmoud Salehi, and Osman Esmaeili were sentenced to one year, three months, and six months in prison, respectively, on charges of “propaganda against the state”. And Khabat Mafakheri was sentenced to four years suspended prison sentence on charges of “acting against national security”.
|Name||From||Chraged with||Date sentenced||Sentencing court||Sentence||Description|
|1||Simko Maroufi||Bukan||Propaganda against the state||1-May-21||Branch 104 of Criminal Court of Bukan||One year imprisonment and two years ban on leaving the country||Environmental activist|
|2||Mohammad Moradi||Piranshahr||Armed insurrection through membership in the KDPI||12-May-21||Branch 1 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Mahabad||40 years in prison and internal exile to Orumiyeh Central Prison||Currently in Naqadeh Prison|
|3||Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini||Naqadeh||Armed insurrection through membership in the KDPI||25-May-21||Branch 1 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Mahabad||40 years in prison and internal exile to Orumiyeh Central Prison||Currently in Naqadeh Prison|
|4||Mahmoud Salehi||Saqqez||Propaganda against the state||27-May-21||Branch 1 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Saqqez||Three months in prison|
|5||Osman Esmaeili||Saqqez||Propaganda against the state||27-May-21||Branch 1 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Saqqez||Six months in prison|
|6||Khabat Mafakheri||Sanandaj||Acting against national security||27-May-21||Branch 1 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Sanandaj||Four years suspended prison sentence|
Prisoner Hunger Strikes
The past month saw three Kurdish political prisoners Mozhgan Kavousi, Sakineh Parvaneh, and Basam Moradi and a detainee named Farzad Samani go on hunger strikes in Tehran, Mashhad, Kamyaran, and Orumiyeh, respectively. Kavousi, Parvaneh, and Moradi went on hunger strikes as their demands were left unanswered by prison authorities. They ended their strikes towards the end of the month.
Meanwhile, Farzad Samani, whose arrest in the detention centre of the IRGC in Al-Mahdi base in Orumiyeh was extended recently for the sixth consecutive month, went on a hunger strike on 30 May to protest against the pressures of interrogators that put pressure on him to make forced confessions.
Kurdish Asylum Seekers
An Iranian Kurdish asylum seeker named Behzad Mahmoudi set himself on fire on 18 May in front of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, in protest against the uncertainty regarding his refugee status. Mahmoudi lost his life a week later on 24 May in the hospital due to suffering from severe burns.
After Mahmoudi lost his life, several large demonstrations took place in front of the UNHCR office in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah, protesting against the situation of the Iranian Kurdish asylum seekers in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
In May, four fighters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and four fighters of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (KDPI) lost their lives during three clashes that took place in Salmas, Bukan-Mahabad Road, and Piranshahr Road between these Kurdish armed groups and forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Ministry of Intelligence of Iran. Another person was also captured by the IRGC forces during the clashes.
Reportedly, the bodies of the eight fighters are held by the IRGC and have not yet been given back to their families.
Attacks on Civilians
Radical Salafi groups in Marivan, Sanandaj, and Saqqez, attacked civilians with knives and swords in the past month, injuring several people. Security institutions of the Islamic Republic of Iran overlooked the incident and did not take any action against it.