Iranian Kurdistan: wave of unexplained arrests

Iranian President Ebrahim Raïssi at the rostrum of parliament in Tehran, November 16, 2021 © AFP - ATTA KENARE

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A wave of arrests is currently underway in the province of Iranian Kurdistan.

A total of 32 men were arrested in ten days.

So far none of them has been able to explain to his relatives the reason for his arrest.

For fear of being victims as well, some inhabitants of the surrounding villages fled their homes.

Since the arrival of the new Iranian president Ibrahim Raïssi, the repression has only worsened.


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For now, it is difficult to make a link between the 32 people arrested. Very few of them were able to call their families. None could say what charge weighed against them. For Fatemeh Karimi, director of the human rights network in Kurdistan, this wave of arrests is linked to the arrival of a new leadership at the head of the provincial security forces. 


There is this kind of change in order to scare and better control the Kurdish regions, where there has always been clear opposition to the central government. New officials begin their post with a wave of arrests. This time, it is mostly people organized within groups like environmentalists, and even members of a mountaineering group and a group that organizes the Kurdish New Year celebration. It is not known exactly why they were arrested. There is still a very close link with the Kurds, with the Kurdish political parties. But currently, these political parties are not very active. They make this kind of arrests to reduce their fear of having another socio-political movement in the region.


Ethnic minorities in Iran are particularly controlled.

The Kurdish province is historically regarded by the Islamic Republic as a threat to the integrity and stability of the country.


See also: Iranian Kurdistan: 11 soldiers killed in clashes with rebels


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  • Iran

  • Kurds

  • Human rights