After using force to put down protests across the country, Iranian security forces launched a series of raids and detained many individuals who organized and participated in the protests. Hundreds of Kurds remain in Iranian jails since mass protests began on November 15. In Mazandaran Province’s Kelardasht city, Iranian authorities arrested a prominent Kurdish writer and activist named Mozhgan Kawasi. Kawasi was accused of “supporting the protests” in the Kurdish region. In Bokan city, Iranian intelligence officers (Ettel’aat) arrested a Kurdish activist named Azad Mahmodian. Concurrently, Fereshta Chraghy, a Kurdish journalist and member of the Yarsani religious minority, was arrested in Sarpol-e Zahab while dozens of activists and demonstrators were detained in Kermanshah, Marrivan, Sanandaj, Saqqez, Salas-e Bawajani, and Javanrud. According to the Kurdistan Human Rights Association (KMMK), Iranian security forces have killed 300 people and wounded over 4,000 since November 15. Continue reading

Conference to be held in Washington next week: The Kurdish Role in the New Middle East


Organized by Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Representative Office in the USA

Date: Monday, 28 October 2013, 09:00 a.m. – 05:00 p.m.
Place: The National Press Club, Holeman Lounge
529 14th St NW Washington, D.C., 20045

The Kurds have emerged as crucial regional actors out of the rapid political transformations that have been sweeping the Middle East over the last decade. This trend has accelerated with the Arab Spring. The “Kurdish problems” that have been compartmentalized across the four nation-states in the Middle East are now more interconnected and more globalized. This has been pressuring Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran as well as global powers to revise their conventional Kurdish policies. The Kurds have been viewed as an element of regional instability throughout the twentieth century. Recent political developments, however, strongly suggest that while the provision of justice for Kurds is essential for the restoration and maintenance of order in the Middle East, the Kurds themselves command valuable political, economic, social and human resources to contribute to the advancement of peace and stability for the states and peoples of the region in the twenty first century.

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“The Kurdish Spring”: New book published

A new book entitled The Kurdish Spring: Geopolitical Changes and the Kurds, published by Mazda, is the latest publication by Professor of Political Science and secretary-general of the EU Turkey Civic Commission, Michael M Gunter, and his colleague Mohammed M.A. Ahmed, Executive Director and founder of the Ahmed Foundation for Kurdish Studies. The book features contributions from scholarly experts such as Michael B. Bishku, Ofra Bengio and Joost Jongerden, who analyse the ‘Kurdish Spring’ as a long-running and growing movement for democracy, cultural, social and political rights and self-determination across Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq.

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New book on Kurdish Spring about to be published

A new book co-edited by Michael M. Gunter, Professor of Political Science at the University of Tennessee and specialist on the Kurdish Question, will soon be published.  The Kurdish Spring: Geopolitical Changes and the Kurds features contributions scholarly experts such as Michael B. Bishku, Ofra Bengio and Joost Jongerden, who analyse the ‘Kurdish Spring’ as a long-running and growing movement for democracy, cultural, social and political rights and self-determination across Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq.

The summary reads:

In the midst of all the changes the Arab Spring has brought in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya, among others, the intelligent lay, media, and policy worlds have paid much less attention to what might be called the Kurdish Spring: Demands for meaningful democracy along with cultural, social, and political rights and their immediate implementation. Or as Ofra Bengio recently described it: “The Kurdish movement is now crystallized in almost all parts of Kurdistan. The weakening of the relevant states, alongside the tectonic sociopolitical changes taking place in the region as a whole, may end up changing the strategic map of the Middle East. Forged by the Great Powers after World War I, the borders separating the Kurds of Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran no longer appear as sacred or secure as they once did.”

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Report on conditions of political prisoners in East Kurdistan

Originally published in Roj Helat with information gathered by the Political Prisoners’ Committee of PJAK, 27/09/2012:

As a totalitarian regime bent on denying the civil liberties, the Iranian regime has from its outset persisted on suppression of the libertarian people and uprooting of the paradigm seeking a free life. It has always replied any endeavour to break the chains by inhumane reactions. By depicting the liberation campaigns of Iranian peoples as separatist efforts against the national security, it has overreacted to them with the utmost hostility. Continue reading

IHRDC reports on ‘acute persecution’ of Kurdish activists in Iran

The Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre (IHRDC) has released its latest report assessing what it calls ‘a campaign of repression against Kurdish activists’ in Iran. The 70-page report, entitled ‘On the margins: Arrest, imprisonment and Execution of Kurdish activists in London today’, can be read in full on the IHRDC website.