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23 Kurds arrested in Iranian Kurdistan in March: watchdog

  2021-04-03  | 
 Zhyan News Network
File Photo - A view from Naghdadeh Central Prison, West Azerbaijan, Iranian Kurdistan, Iran (File)
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – At least twenty-three Kurdish ethnic citizens were arrested in March by the security forces in the Iranian Kurdistan on charges of political, civil activities and participation in Newroz celebrations, a watchdog said on Friday (March 4).

Eight people were apprehended on political activities and collaborating with Kurdish parties that are banned by the central authority in Tehran, reported Hengaw Organization for Human Rights, which monitors human rights abuses in the Iranian Kurdistan known as Rojhalat. 

Newroz (Nowruz) is the beginning of spring and the Kurdish New Year, in which Kurds celebrate it by lighting bonfires, wearing Kurdish traditional clothing and picking with family and friends. It is celebrated by many nations in Middle East, Central Asia and Caucasian nations, more notably by Kurds and Persians.

The majority of the arrests were from West Azerbaijan province, followed by Kurdistan and Kermanshah provinces, according to the watchdog.

There was a 15-year-old teenager from Mahabad city in West Azerbaijan, adding the agency, noting three detainees were sent to West Azerbaijan’s Naghadeh Central Prison to serve their sentences. 

At least 85 ethnic Kurds were arrested in West Azerbaijan and Kurdistan provinces in January in a large-scale clampdown by the Iranian authorities on dissidents, environmental, political and cultural activists, said the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN), another watchdog, on January 30. 

At least 205 political and civil activists, journalists, environmentalists were arrested in 2020, according to the Kurdistan Human Rights Association (KMMK), another watchdog.

International watchdogs such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have voiced alarm regarding the state of press freedom and the freedom of expression in Iran.

(Zhyan News Network)