Kurds protest against execution of Kurdish activist in Iran
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.