Monthly Archives: July 2017

Iran: Reveal whereabouts of four Kurdish men

amnesty-internationalReveal whereabouts of four Kurdish men 

UA: 171/17 Index: MDE 13/6734/2017 Iran        Date: 13 July 2017 

Four men from Iran’s Kurdish minority have been subjected to enforced disappearance since their arrests on 23 and 24 June. The authorities have refused to provide any information to their families about their fate or whereabouts. The men, who are all related, are at risk of extrajudicial execution, torture, and other human rights violations.

Ramin Hosseinpanahi

Ramin Hossein Panahi, a member of the Komala armed opposition group, was arrested on 23 June after taking part in armed clashes with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the city of Sanandaj, Kurdistan province, northwest Iran. Amnesty International understands that Ramin Hossein Panahi was injured during the clashes. His family has not been informed of his fate or whereabouts but they learned through a local non-official source that, following his arrest, he was initially taken to a hospital for about an hour and then moved to an undisclosed location.

His family is concerned that he will be denied critical medical care for his injuries.

The Iranian authorities often deny prisoners access to adequate medical care, sometimes as an intentional act of cruelty intended to intimidate and punish them, or to extract forced “confessions”.  

Hours after Ramin Hossein Panahi’s arrest, the Revolutionary Guards stormed his parents’ house in the village of Qeruchay, near Sanandaj, and arrested his brother, Afshin Hossein Panahi

They raided the house again on 24 June and arrested three other members of his family: Ahmad Hossein Panahi (brother-in-law); Zobeyr Hossein Panahi(distant relative); and Anvar Hossein Panahi (cousin), who has since been released. Information received by Amnesty International suggests that none of these men had any involvement in the armed clashes.

Since their arrest, the authorities have refused to provide any information to their families about the fate or whereabouts of the three men still detained.

On 10 July, the mother of Ramin Hossein Panahi visited the Ministry of Intelligence office in Sanandaj, where officials said that the Revolutionary Guards were responsible for his case and therefore his arrest and that the Ministry of Intelligence had nothing to do with him. However, the Revolutionary Guards had previously told the family that they had transferred him to the detention of the Ministry of Intelligence so he was no longer their responsibility. The four men still in detention are victims of enforced disappearance, which is a crime under international law, and are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

Please write immediately in English, Persian or your own language calling on the Iranian authorities to: 


– Immediately reveal the fate and whereabouts of Ramin Hossein Panahi, Afshin Hossein Panahi, Ahmad Hossein Panahi, and Zobeyr Hossein Panahi;
– Release Afshin Hossein Panahi, Ahmad Hossein Panahi, and Zobeyr Hossein Panahi if they have been detained solely because of their family connection with Ramin Hossein Panahi;
–  Ensure that all four men are provided with any medical care they may require and are protected from torture and other ill-treatment;
– Ensure that Ramin Hossein Panahi is provided with immediate access to medical care and to an independent lawyer of his choosing and promptly brought before a judge.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 24 AUGUST 2017 TO: 

Justice Department of Kurdistan Province 
Imam Shafe’i Square
Shahid Shebli Boulevard
Sanandaj
PO Box: 6614786964
Kurdistan Province
Iran

Head of the Judiciary 
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
c/o Public Relations Office
Number 4, Deadend of 1 Azizi
Above Pasteur Intersection
Vali Asr Street
Tehran, Iran

And copies to


Advisor to the President for Ethnic and Religious Minorities’ Affairs 

Ali Younesi
Office of the Presidency
Pasteur Street, Pasteur Square
Tehran, Iran

Also, send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please insert local diplomatic addresses below: 


Name                        

Address 1

Address 2

Address 3

Fax: Fax number

Email: Email address

Salutation: Salutation

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

 

Additional Information

The men’s families have reported making strenuous efforts to locate them by visiting various government offices in Sanandaj and Qorveh, and the village of Dehgolan, all in Kurdistan province, but said that officials refused to disclose their fate or whereabouts. Instead, officials have directed threats and insults at them, describing their loved ones as “terrorists”.

Amnesty International understands that the arrests of Ramin Hossein Panahi, Afshin Hossein Panahi, Anvar Hossein Panahi, Ahmad Hossein Panahi, and Zobeyr Hossein Panahi were carried out in a violent manner. According to accounts from Ramin Hossein Panahi’s family, armed Revolutionary Guards wearing black masks broke down the front door of their family house on 24 June and beat the men, as well as Ramin Hossein Panahi’s sister and elderly father. They also warned them against holding gatherings or giving media interviews.

In addition to Ramin Hossein Panahi, three other men affiliated with the armed Kurdish opposition group Komala were involved in the exchange of gunfire on 23 June 2017. They included Sabah Hossein Panahi, Hamed Seyf Panahi and Behzad Nouri. Ramin Hossein Panahi was injured and subsequently arrested while the latter three were shot dead. The exchange of gunfire apparently started at a Revolutionary Guards checkpoint after the men were identified while traveling in a car and did not heed a call to stop. The authorities have refused to return the dead bodies of the three men to their families for burials and warned the families against holding memorial gatherings. Komala has claimed that six members of the Revolutionary Guards were also killed during the clashes but the Revolutionary Guards did not acknowledge any casualties in the official statement they issued on 23 June. Komala is an armed Kurdish opposition group which has been engaged in armed activities against the Islamic Republic of Iran since the 1980s.

Kurds are one of Iran’s disadvantaged ethnic minorities and face entrenched discrimination that curtails their access to employment, adequate housing and the exercise of their cultural, economic, civil and political rights. Continued economic neglect of provinces populated by Kurds, which include Kurdistan, Kermanshah and parts of West Azerbaijan, have further entrenched poverty and marginalization. Politically, Iran’s Kurdish minority have criticized the centralization of political life in Iran and the absence of any measures to introduce any form of minority self-government.

International law absolutely prohibits enforced disappearances and specifies that no exceptional circumstances whatsoever may be invoked as justification. Enforced disappearances are particularly cruel human rights violations. Individuals are cut off from the outside world, left knowing that their loved ones have no idea where they are or whether they are dead or alive. They are placed outside of the protection of the law and denied their right to legal representation or a fair trial. Treaty bodies, human rights courts and other human rights bodies have repeatedly found that enforced disappearances also violate the right to liberty and security of the person, the right not to be subjected to torture or other ill-treatment, the right to remedy, and the right to life. An enforced disappearance is also a “continuing crime”, which takes place so long as the disappeared person remains missing and information about his or her fate or whereabouts has not been provided by the state. Enforced disappearances also have a profound effect on the family members and friends of the disappeared individuals who are sometimes forced to anxiously wait years before they find out if their loved one is alive or dead.

Name: Ramin Hossein Panahi, Afshin Hossein Panahi, Ahmad Hossein Panahi, Zobeyr Hossein Panahi
Gender m/f: All male

UA: 171/17 Index: MDE 13/6734/2017 Issue Date: 13 July 2017

The Urgent Action is available on the Amnesty International website at the following link: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/MDE13/6734/2017/en/

Dr. Azad Moradian : Establishing a Kurdish State Will Shake the Balance in the Region

Featured Image -- 2317The Kurdistan Voice: As you know, one of the most disputed political topics in the Middle East is the independence referendum of Kurdistan, which will be held within the next three months. Until now, Iran has opposed the referendum more than Baghdad or even Ankara. Is Iran afraid of an independent Kurdistan because it is likely to become a catalyst for the Kurds of Iran?

Dr. Moradian: An independent Kurdish state, regardless of size, is a direct threat to Iranian political hegemony and the regional power of the Middle East.

Essentially, the long-term strategic goal of Iran is to create a Shiite block, or as they call it, a Shiite Crescent and claim the territorial and ideological leadership of the Shiite world.

The removal of Saddam Hussein created the space for the Iranian regime to further spread their influence in the region.

In Lebanon and in part of Yemen, Iran has already been able to establish their dominance and have widespread Shiite support. All of Iranian’s efforts in Syria are towards this same end.

While Iran has been involved in Syria since the beginning of the conflict, they became physically engaged in 2014 to preserve the power of an Alawite Shiite regime. The territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria and the preservation of the ruling powers in these countries is of paramount importance to Iran. Therefore, anything that threatens this plan is something Iran will vehemently oppose. Kurds are situated, physically and politically, in direct opposition to this plan. Kurds are also positioned to oppose Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ambitions to reestablish an Ottoman Sunni Crescent (please see Question 3 for more on this topic).

Establishing a Kurdish state will shake the balance in the region, as it does not reinforce the larger geopolitical visions of Iran and/or Turkey.
Furthermore, while the situations of Kurds in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey are different, there is cross-border influence and exchange. The formation of a Kurdish state in any one of these regions can catalyze Kurds in other regions.

Iranian Kurds established the first Kurdish state (The Republic of Mahabad 1946), so the history is there for people to be moved into action by what happens in Iraqi Kurdistan. There is a great deal of movement between Kurds in Iraq and Iran; therefore, we cannot minimize the power of the independence referendum in revitalizing resistance in other regions of Kurdistan.

Anytime we discuss Middle East politics, we must touch on the economic impact of regional changes. Iran, in part because of their position in OPEC, has a key economic role. An independent Kurdistan with their rich oil reserves will become a dominant voice regarding what happens to oil exports. Iran does not want to share this power. While Iran is afraid of a future state of Kurdistan threatening internal affair, the issue is more complex than that. Iran opposes the referendum because a Kurdish state threats Iranian political, economic, and ideological dominance in all aspects.

On the ideological front, Iran does not want to have a secular democratic state at its borders. Despite all of the internal party issues in Iraqi Kurdistan, the system can still be an antidote to Iranian theocracy. This would create tension within Iran, not just in the Kurdish region of Iran, as it can inspire the Iranian democracy seeking movement.

For example, the stance that Iraqi Kurdistan has towards women, religious tolerance, political pluralism and open media can all have an impact on Iran’s civic engagement.

The Kurdish region, in the past 20 years, has shown a much more progressive stance towards human rights issues. Travel and intellectual exchange between the two countries could threaten the Iranian regime’s ability to maintain a dictatorship and subdue resistance and activism. Religious tolerance and women’s issues are especially key.

The Kurdistan Voice: The former U.S. president, George Bush had an unsuccessful Great Middle-East plan for the democratization of the region. Is it possible that the Trumps’ administration pursues a similar plan to strengthen the U.S. power and reduce Russia’s influence in the region?

Dr. Moradian: Let me begin by distinguishing between Bush’s foreign policy towards the Middle East and that of Trump.

The two are actually different, at least in terms of messaging. Both Sr. Bush and Jr. Bush had the slogan of destroying dictatorship and establishing democracy in the region as their stated reasons for getting involved in the Middle East.

This was the case in the early 90’s with Bush Sr. and was also the case with Bush Jr. Trump says: “America First” and states that he is there for reestablishing America’s dominance, politically, economically and ideologically. Establishing democracy does not appear to be part of the plan.

On the surface, we might think that Bush’s vision of destroying dictatorship and establishing western style democracy is a worthy cause. The reality is not exactly as noble. First of all, establishing democracy was never clearly defined or classified. There was also no clear plan of how this was going to happen. For example, Bush failed to help foster a clear alternative that would fill the void left behind after the toppling of dictatorship. Furthermore, power was not properly divvied up between all the stakeholders on the ground.

The project was left completely unfinished. In part, as a result of this, the region has been plagued by the horrors of ISIS. The human, economic, and cultural costs have been enormous.

Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. succeeded in toppling dictators but then the region was abandoned to deal with the cascading consequences of war and instability. Whether Trump’s foreign policy is going to work better remains to be seen. Time will tell. So far there is no clear vision in mind.

The Bush administration, as well as Obama’s, were committed to the one Iraq, one Syria policy and were not interested in supporting the Kurdish quest for self-determination. They saw the continuation of Iraq as well as Syria (as an intact country) as a priority. At the same time, they did not have a plan of how to support the type of political system that would lead to democracy. Territorial integrity was chosen over the well-being of people. The cost has been great suffering and further instability. This policy has had a devastating impact on Kurds and has been one of the biggest blows to Kurdish interests.

While America has relied on Kurds to neutralize extremism and give tactical and military support to American troops, it has in turn, refused to support Kurds in their political ambitions.

We don’t yet know if the Trump administration is going to continue this policy or move in a different direction. The Trump administration has supported Kurds in Syria militarily but there is so far no indication that things will be different politically.

When it comes to Russia, the issue is even more complex. While Russia appears to want to reestablish its former Soviet supremacy in the world, it is entangled in more pressing concerns closer its own borders, such as in Ukraine and Georgia.

Russia is a strong player militarily but economically it is on the same level as a country like Italy. It, therefore, does not have the leverage to continue taking a strong stance in the Middle East. The most it can hope for is to recreate the balance of power between east and west that the old Soviet once had.

Trump’s policy towards Russia has been to sit down with Russia and negotiate while making sure Russia does not have a leadership role in the world. In this regard, Trump’s policy is a conservative American stance and not a new one but it is a deviation from Obama.

Trump administration is interested in U.S. global dominance and not in power sharing. By helping Russia economically, it is likely that Russia will want to trade its influence in Syria and Iran for more dominance in the Eastern block and for more financial opportunities.

 

The Kurdistan Voice: It seems Turkey faces a dilemma between the United States and Russia concern to its regional policy and has been the failure to gain its strategic goals, especially in Syria as the United States has sent military equipment to the Kurdish forces of the People’s Protect Union without getting attention to the Ankara’s threats.

How is the Turkey’s policy in the region explainable?

Dr. Moradian: Before the year 2003 when AKP (Justice and Development Party) came to power, Turkey’s main goals in the region were twofold:

One, it wanted to self-preserve through a strong nationalism. Its policies were geared towards fostering a secular nationalistic state. It did not expend energy and resources on expansionist policies.

Two, it wanted to become a strong economic force. It did so by being a key NATO member. It was able to do just that as it had the largest border with the East. Turkey was seen as the bridge between the East and West. It was able to gain tremendously on the economic front. For 44 years, Turkey benefited financially from the Truman Doctrine, of aid to countries that were moving away from Communism towards Democracy.

In an effort to control Communism, Turkey profited financially and politically.

The Turkish military was the guardian of this secular nationalistic state. Kurds, or anyone else, that threatened this vision were brutally repressed and slaughtered. The war against Kurds helped strengthen the Turkish state by giving the army a constant enemy. Turkey was the beneficiary of the Cold War but needed a new direction after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Understanding the recent history of Turkish foreign policy requires understanding Ahmet Davutoğlu doctrine and philosophy. He is the theoretical founder of the direction Turkey took after the fall of the Soviet Union. From 2002-2009 he had an advisory role and from 2009-2014 he was the foreign minister of Turkey and then became Prime Minister from 2014-2016.

Ahmet Davutoğlu’s philosophy was to move Turkey towards a regional power by emphasizing pan-Islamism and neo-Ottomanism. The direction of its foreign policy moved towards an expansionist one. An Islamist Pan-Turkish vision replaced secular nationalism.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan introduced laws that challenged secularism. He also started to bring forward Islamist ideology in its internal and foreign policy. It began meddling in regional affairs. For example, it became embroidered in a conflict with Israel in support of Hamas. It took positions on Afghanistan and then even more so in Syria. It supported Chechens against Russia.

Initially, Ahmet Davutoğlu attempted to minimize conflict with its neighbors by becoming closer to Iran, Greece, Armenia, Iraq, and Syria. He believed that he could have more influence in the region by neutralizing tensions. This was positive for Turkey. During the time Iran was internationally sanctioned, Turkey was able to go around these sanctions and benefit economically.

Ahmet Davutoğlu was also interested in a peace process with the PKK in order to;

1) Bring Turkey closer to joining the European Union,

2) Minimize tensions internally

3) Reduce the role of the army, which was traditionally the guardian of secular nationalism and not pan-Islamist.

Ultimately, Ahmet Davutoğlu’s vision was a failed one. The peace process with the PKK did not move forward in part because the army and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan itself had no interest in following through.

Furthermore, by the early 2012’s it was clear that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan saw himself as an Islamic leader. It drew further and further away from Europe. Joining the European Union was no longer at the forefront of Turkish national interests. The first confrontations with the west came when the U.S first invaded Iraq. Turkey initially resisted the war by not allowing the U.S military to use its bases. Furthermore, in the conflict between Gaza and Israel, it took the side of Gaza. Ahmet Davutoğl’s philosophy was clashing with the West.

Ahmet Davutoğl then supported Muslim Brotherhood and in this way wanted to penetrate in the Arab region’s internal affairs. Turkey took up a leading role in the Arab Spring. It had a proactive foreign policy at the time. It would actively pursue opportunities to expand its power.

Turkey wanted to position itself as a model for the Middle East: an Islamic country that was (at least on the surface) democratic. However, Arab Spring was too large of a conflict for Turkey to be able to control.

With the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey’s role also diminished. It was not able to hold on to any power in Libya or Egypt. It became further entangled in the conflict in Syria.

The Syrian uprising and civil war were another places that Turkey attempted to have great influence. In fact, Turkey’s role in the creation and expansion of ISIS is documented but needs further scrutiny. Turkey appears to have used ISIS, as well as the refugee crisis, as a way to further hurt the Kurds and expand its powers in the region. However, with the defeat of ISIS, Turkey’s role has been further questioned. Despite the evidence, the West has yet to directly hold Turkey responsible for aiding ISIS; however, the West no longer sees Turkey as a model for the region.

By 2016, as a result of Ahmet Davutoğl’s failures to establish the type of regional dominance it set out to do, he was forced out of the political arena.

Turkey today is forced into a reactive strategy, rather than proactive position. It is at odds with its neighbors and internally unstable and more polarized than ever.

 

 

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Dr. Azad Moradian, a Kurdish- American Politician was born in Iranian Kurdistan (Eastern Kurdistan). Dr. Moradian specializes in Kurdish and Iranian politics. His articles are regularly published in several media outlets and magazines. He gives regular political comments on radio and TV broadcasts. He also analyzed Kurdish politics and internal fratricide between political factions, and its dire consequences.

Dr. Moradian is Chair of Kurdish American Committee for Democracy and Human right in Iran, and co-founder of Voice of Kurdish-American Radio for Democracy, Peace, and Freedom.

Dr. Moradian is a former member of the board of directors of Kurdish National Congress of North America.

 

Source: https://kurdistanvoice.net/2017/07/04/dr-azad-moradian-establishing-a-kurdish-state-will-shake-the-balance-in-the-region/

Iran: Enforced disappearances of Kurdish men arrested after armed clashes and reprisals against families must end immediately 

Saba-Hosein-Panahi-and-Ramin-Hossin-Panahi

Dear friends,

Please find below and attached a Public Statement that Amnesty International issued today on five men from Iran’s Kurdish minority who have been subject to enforced disappearances since 23 and 24 June 2017.

Ramin Hossein Panahi, a 22-year-old member of the Komala armed opposition group, was arrested on 23 June 2017 after he took part in armed clashes with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the neighborhood of Shalman, in Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province, northwest Iran. His fate and whereabouts have been unknown since then.

Later that day, the Revolutionary Guards stormed Ramin Hossein Panahi’s parents’ house in the village of Qeruchay, near Sanandaj and arrested his brother, Afshin Hossein Panahi. The following day, Revolutionary Guards raided the house again and arrested three other members of his family – Anvar Hossein-Panahi (cousin), Ahmad Hossein-Panahi (brother-in-law) and Zobeyr Hossein-Panahi (distant relative). Information received by Amnesty International suggests that none of the men arrested had any involvement with the armed clashes and were instead arrested by Revolutionary Guards in an apparent effort to exact retribution and create a climate of fear.

The organization is urging the Iranian authorities to release Afshin Hossein Panahi, Anvar Hossein Panahi, Ahmad Hossein Panahi, and Zobeyr Hossein Panahi if they have been detained solely because of their family connection with Ramin Hossein Panahi. The authorities must ensure that Ramin Hossein Panahi is promptly brought before a judge, as well as provided with immediate access to healthcare, protected from torture and other ill-treatment, given access to an independent lawyer of his choosing, and granted a fair trial without resort to the death penalty.

The Public Statement is available on the Amnesty International website at the following link:
https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde13/6649/2017/en/

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7ca19-amnesty-internationalAMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
PUBLIC STATEMENT

30 June 2017

Index: MDE 13/6649/2017

Iran: Enforced disappearances of Kurdish men arrested after armed clashes and reprisals against families must end immediately

The Iranian authorities must immediately reveal the fate and whereabouts of five men from Iran’s Kurdish minority who have been subject to enforced disappearances since 23 and 24 June 2017, Amnesty International said today.

Ramin Hossein Panahi, a 22-year-old member of the Komala armed opposition group, was arrested on 23 June 2017 after he took part in armed clashes with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the neighbourhood of Shalman, in Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province, northwest Iran. His fate and whereabouts have been unknown since then.

Later that day, the Revolutionary Guards stormed Ramin Hossein Panahi’s parents’ house in the village of Qeruchay, near Sanandaj and arrested his brother, Afshin Hossein Panahi. The following day, Revolutionary Guards raided the house again and arrested three other members of his family – Anvar Hossein Panahi (cousin), Ahmad Hossein Panahi (brother-in-law) and Zobeyr Hossein Panahi(distant relative). Information received by Amnesty International suggests that none of the men arrested had any involvement with the armed clashes and were instead arrested by Revolutionary Guards in an apparent effort to exact retribution and create a climate of fear.

Amnesty International understands that on both days, the arrests were carried out in a violent manner. According to accounts from Ramin Hossein Panahi’s family, armed Revolutionary Guards wearing black masks broke the front door of their family house and beat the men as well as Ramin Hossein Panahi’s sister and elderly father. They also warned them against holding gatherings or giving media interviews. Ramin Hossein Panahi’s family have said that their house is now surrounded by heavily armed guards who are monitoring their movements and preventing neighbours and relatives from paying visits.

Since the men were arrested last week, the authorities have refused to provide any information about their fate and whereabouts. Ramin Hossein Panahi’s family learned through a local source that he was hospitalized in Sanandaj following his arrest for approximately an hour and then moved to an undisclosed location. His family are concerned that he is at risk of extrajudicial execution and torture, including through being denied life-saving medical care for his injuries. No information is available on the other men. Their families reported making strenuous efforts to locate them by visiting various government offices in Sanandaj, Qorveh and Dehgolan, all in Kurdistan Province, but said that officials refused to acknowledge their detention or disclose their location. Instead, they directed threats and insults at them describing their loved ones as “terrorists”.

Amnesty International considers all five men to be victims of enforced disappearance and is calling on the Iranian authorities to immediately reveal their fate and whereabouts. Enforced disappearance is a crime under international law and places individuals at serious risk of extrajudicial execution, torture and other gross human rights violations.

The organization is urging the Iranian authorities to release Afshin Hossein Panahi, Anvar Hossein Panahi, Ahmad Hossein Panahi, and Zobeyr Hossein Panahi if they have been detained solely because of their family connection with Ramin Hossein Panahi. The authorities must ensure that Ramin Hossein Panahi is promptly brought before a judge, as well as provided with immediate access to healthcare, protected from torture and other ill-treatment, given access to an independent lawyer of his choosing, and granted a fair trial without resort to the death penalty.

Background

In addition to Ramin Hossein Panahi, three other men affiliated with the armed Kurdish opposition group Komala were involved in the exchange of gunfire on 23 June 2017. They included Sabah Hossein Panahi, Hamed Seyf Panahi and Behzad Nouri. Ramin Hossein Panahi was injured and subsequently arrested while the latter three were shot dead. The exchange of gunfire apparently started at a Revolutionary Guards checkpoint after the men were identified while travelling in a car and did not heed a call to stop. The authorities have refused to return the dead bodies of the three men to their families for burials and warned the families against holding memorial gatherings. Komala has claimed that six members of the Revolutionary Guards were also killed during the clashes but the Revolutionary Guards have not acknowledged any casualties in the official statement they issued on 23 June.

Komala is an armed Kurdish opposition group which has been engaged in armed activities against the Islamic Republic of Iran since the 1980s.

Kurds are one of Iran’s disadvantaged ethnic minorities who face entrenched discrimination that curtails their access to employment, adequate housing and the exercise of their cultural, economic, civil and political rights. Continued economic neglect of provinces populated by Kurds, which include Kurdistan, Kermanshah and parts of West Azerbaijan, have further entrenched poverty and marginalization. Politically, Iran’s Kurdish minority have criticized the centralization of political life and the absence of any measures to ensure minority self-government.

 

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