Kurds protest against ex­e­cu­tion of Kur­dish ac­tivist in Iran

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Zakaria Muhammed

Waves of ex­e­cu­tions of Kur­dish and Baluch po­lit­i­cal pris­on­ers in re­cent days have ex­tremely pro­voked Kurds as dozens of demon­stra­tions have been staged in sev­eral coun­tries protest­ing the mass killings of Kurds in Iran.

Kur­dish peo­ple from Kur­dis­tan Re­gion in the prov­inces of Su­laimaniya and Er­bil or­ga­nized protests last week against the ex­e­cu­tion of Kur­dish ac­tivists in Iran.

The demon­stra­tion s started af­ter, 16 Baluch po­lit­i­cal pris­on­ers were ex­e­cuted in Za­hedan, and another Baluch po­lit­i­cal pris­oner was hanged in Ha­madan on 26 Oc­to­ber. On 27 Oc­to­ber, a Baluch po­lit­i­cal pris­oner was ex­e­cuted in Khor­ram­abad.

On 4 Novem­ber also, a Kur­dish po­lit­i­cal pris­oner was ex­e­cuted in the Kur­dish city of Saqqez, bring­ing the num­ber of Kur­dish po­lit­i­cal pris­on­ers who have been ex­e­cuted in the past two week to three. Three other Kur­dish po­lit­i­cal pris­on­ers are to be ex­e­cuted in the next few days.

On Novem­ber 5, res­i­dents of the Kur­dish city of Mari­wan staged a large demon­stra­tion against the re­cent wave of ex­e­cu­tions in Ira­nian Kur­dis­tan. The se­cu­rity forces attacked the demon­stra­tors and ar­rested sev­eral of them.

Another large demon­stra­tion against the ex­e­cu­tions broke in Kur­dish city of Saqqez. Se­cu­rity forces also stormed the demon­stra­tion.

A num­ber of Kur­dish po­lit­i­cal pris­on­ers in Sanan­daj, Ker­man­shan, Our­miya and Tabas have gone on hunger strike in protest against the re­cent surge of ex­e­cu­tions of Kur­dish and Baluch po­lit­i­cal pris­on­ers.

On Tues­day, the chief prose­cu­tor in the city of Zabol in Sis­tan-Baluchis­tan prov­ince was as­sas­si­nated af­ter gun­men stopped his car and opened fire. The prose­cu­tor’s driver and body guard was also killed in the at­tack.

Mean­while, Iran has ex­e­cuted 35 oth­ers in the last ten days who had been charged for non-po­lit­i­cal crimes.

The protests spread out­side of Iran as hun­dreds of peo­ple staged a rally in front of Shanidar Park in the Kur­dish cap­i­tal city of Er­bil. The rally changed in demon­stra­tions as the peo­ple moved to­ward the Ira­nian Gen­eral Con­sul- ate in Er­bil. The pro­test­ers at first were shout­ing slo­gans against the Ira­nian regime.

The di­rec­tion of the protests was a lit­tle changed as some demon­stra­tors threw stones at the fa­cil­ity of the Ira­nian Con­sulate. They also burnt the Ira­nian flag.

The se­cu­rity forces were able to con­trol the sit­u­a­tion as they ar­rested some pro­tes­tors and formed a pro­tec­tion line in front of the con­sulate to pre­vent fur­ther at­tacks. The Kurds, who num­ber some 30-40 mil­lion ac­cord­ing to un­of­fi­cial es­ti­mates, are di­vided in a re­gion of the Mid­dle East where Syria, Iraq, Iran and Tur­key in­ter­sect. The Kurds have been in con­stant strug­gle with regimes in each of those coun­tries for greater rights.

Ac­cord­ing to Amnesty In­ter­na­tional, only China ranks above Iran in the num­ber of pris­on­ers ex­e­cuted each year.

The Euro­pean Union and Hu­man Rights Watch (HRW) last week re­it­er­ated calls for Tehran to end its use of the death penalty fol­low­ing re­ports that Iran had ex­e­cuted 18 peo­ple on Oc­to­ber 26.

HRW says more than 400 ex­e­cu­tions have been doc­u­mented in Iran so far in 2013.

Amnesty In­ter­na­tional said the ex­e­cu­tions show Ira­nian au­thor­i­ties "con­tinue to rely on state-spon­sored killing."

Since Has­san Rouhani elected as Ira­nian pres­i­dent, a to­tal of 209 dis­si­dents have been ex­e­cuted. In one in­stant, 16 po­lit­i­cal pris­on­ers were hanged in the south­east­ern prov­ince of Sis­tan and Baluchis­tan in one af­ter­noon. The num­ber of ex­e­cu­tions since Rouhani’s elec­tion is un­prece­dented since the pres­i­dency of Muham­mad Khatami (1997-2005).

Rouhani promised an open­ing of the po­lit­i­cal space and an eas­ing of the dra­co­nian cen­sor­ship rules im­posed by Khatami over a decade ago. In­stead, the Rouhani ad­min­is­tra­tion can­celed li­censes for two news­pa­pers and stopped two oth­ers from ap­pear­ing. One publisher and one ed­i­tor have been ar­rested and charged with “ac­tiv­i­ties against na­tional se­cu­rity.”

Two men and a woman hold a ban­ner in a demon­stra­tion that was or­ga­nized in Er­bil's Shan­der Park, on Oc­to­ber 31, to show their protest against the ex­e­cu­tion of Kur­dish po­lit­i­cal ac­tivists in Iran.

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