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As of January 2009, this site is definitely closed, but you can follow Safa Haeri on his new blog: DAMAVAND at http://wwwdamavandsafa.blogspot.com

UNRESTS CONTINUE IN IRAN'S MINORITY-DOMINATED PROVINCES

Published Saturday, August 6, 2005



TEHRAN, 6 August (IPS) Bloody unrests continue in at least three Iranian provinces, with Kurdish sources accusing the clerical-led authorities of having killed “tens” of people in Iranian Kurdish dominated areas.

Against Tehran and local officials claiming that order has been restored in the northwestern Kurdish towns of Mahabad, Baneh and Saqqez, where there are widespread riots, Kurds says Revolutionary Guards supported by anti-riot units, plainclothes men and Law Enforcement Forces used heavy weapons in crushing the riots.

Kurdish dissidents say the government has deployed 100.000 troops in Kurdish cities, backed up by helicopter gunships.

Kurdish dissident groups say the Iranian government has deployed large numbers of troops in Kurdish cities in an effort to quell three weeks of civil unrest that has left up to 20 people dead and more than 300 wounded, according to reports from dissident groups.

They said as many as 100,000 state security forces, backed up by helicopter gunships had moved into the region to crack down on pro-Kurdish demonstrations.

Kurdsat, an Iraqi-Kurdish satellite channel based in Sulaimaniyah, reported yesterday that police had detained as many as 1,200 people after the incident.

Further unrest was feared yesterday in Bokan and Sinne, where up to 6,000 Special Forces soldiers were said to have gathered. Opposition leaders appealed for calm and called for the international community to put pressure on the Iranian authorities to halt the crackdown.

In a statement, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, outlawed in Iran and is based in northern Iraq, urged "international organisations, human-rights supporters and the international community to make efforts to stop the bloodshed of the Iranian Kurdish people by the Islamic republic regime of Iran".

On 16 June, Iranian Intelligence Minister Hojjatoleslam Ali Younesi accused the US and Britain were seeking to instigate ethnic and religious tensions in the Middle East and in Iran.

The unrest began in the town of Mahabad, in early July, following the shooting of Shivan Qaderi, a Kurdish opposition activist, also known as Seyed Kamal Astam, or Astom, and two other Kurdish men, by Iranian forces on 9 July, in circumstances where they may not have posed an immediate threat. The security forces then reportedly tied Shivan Qaderi’s body to a Toyata jeep and dragged him in the streets.

The local Iranian authorities are reported to have confirmed that a person of this name, “who was on the run and wanted by the judiciary”, was indeed shot and killed by security forces at this time, allegedly while trying to evade arrest, according to the London-based Amnesty International.

The photos of Mr. Qaderi on the internet depicted signs suggesting torture, including the dead man’s bloodied face and bruised and swollen back. But Governor Samadi said photos posted online were different from those taken before authorities handed over the body to Qadri’s family.

UNRESTS CONTINUE IN IRAN'S MINORITY-DOMINATED PROVINCES-Body-2

Qadri was considered a key figure in organizing celebrations after the election of Massoud Barzani as the first president of Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region last month. The celebrations prompted clashes with police in several Kurdish towns in western Iran.

During the days following Shivan Qaderi’s death, several thousand Mahabad residents, mainly youths, took to the streets to protest the killings. Since then, demonstrations have erupted in the mainly Kurdish neighbouring towns of Sanandaj, Mahabad, Sardasht, Piranshahr, Oshnavieh, Baneh, Sinne, Bokan and Saqqez. The Iranian state-owned media has reported and confirmed the unrest of the past 3 weeks, but have described the situation as due to “hooligan and criminal elements, Amnesty added.

Kurdish activist Jalal Qhavami said Qadri was a Kurdish nationalist who led almost all anti-regime protests in Mahabad, which prompted police to seek his arrest.

Ghavami said Iranian opposition Kurdish groups including the DPIK Party and Pejvak have called on Kurds in western Iran to begin a civil disobedience movement.

Barzani is a Sunni Muslim Iraqi Kurd and leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party. Mustafa Barzani, Massoud’s father, was commander-in-chief of the republic of Kurdistan in Iran, headed by Qazi Muhammad in Mahabad in 1945. Iran’s armed forces recaptured Mahabad and dismantled the self-proclaimed republic in 1946.

In a letter dated 22 July 2005 the organization wrote to Iran’s Interior Minister, Abdolvahed Mousavi-Lari, seeking clarification of the circumstances surrounding the killing of Shivan Qaderi , and the arrest of scores of people in Mahabad and the surrounding areas in the days following his death and expressed concern that the killing may have been deliberate and that those detained may not have access to independent lawyers of their choice or their families and that they may be at risk of torture or ill-treatment.

The Kurds are one of Iran’s many ethnic minority groups, and number around 10% of the population. They mainly live in the province of Kurdistan and neighbouring provinces bordering Turkey and Iraq. A UN report released last week said authorities were denying basic amenities to Iran's ethnic and religious minorities and in some cases seizing land.

Among those arrested during the disturbance are prominent Kurdish human rights defenders and activists, including (female) Dr. Roya Tolou’i, a women’ rights activist, arrested at her home in Sanandaj on 2 August.

UNRESTS CONTINUE IN IRAN'S MINORITY-DOMINATED PROVINCES-Body-3

According to her husband, who has not been allowed access to her, she is detained on charges of “disturbing the peace” and “acting against national security”. Azad Zamani, a member of the Association for the Defence of Children's Rights (ADCR, or Kanoun-e Defa’ az Hoqouq-e Koudekan), was also arrested in Sinne.

Mr. Qavami, a journalist and a member of the editorial board of the journal “Payam-e Mardom”, was arrested at his workplace after agents of Iran’s security forces initially raided his residence. Mahmoud Salehi, the spokesman for the Organisational Committee to Establish Trade Unions, was arrested in the early hours of 4 August, and the security forces have also closed down two Kurdish newspapers.

According to officials that blames the unrest on the Turkish-Kurdish rebel from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), at least six people, including four Iranian soldiers, were killed near Turkish borders.

"Four soldiers were killed and five others wounded in an ambush near the northwestern town of Oshnoviyeh”, said provincial deputy governor Abbas Khorshidi, adding that "unknown gunmen opened fire on several patrols" in a separate incident.

"It was terrorists from the PKK who carried out the ambush", ministry spokesman Jahanbakhsh Khanjani said, adding that the Iranian soldiers who died were "martyred". The spokesman gave no further details of the attack and did not elaborate on why the PKK was held responsible rather than Iran-oriented Kurdish rebel groups such as the DPIK and the Marxist organization Komaleh.

Branded a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, the PKK has fought Ankara since 1984 and recently stepped up violence in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast after calling off a five-year unilateral ceasefire in June last year.

Tehran and Ankara are linked by an accord calling on Iran to fight the PKK and for Turkey to fight the Mojahedeen Khalq Organisation, an armed Iranian opposition group based in Iraq.

Security forces reportedly tied Shivan Qaderi’s body to a jeep and dragged him in the streets.

Images of Astom's swollen and bloodied body circulated on the Internet, fueling rumours that he had been tortured and exacerbating discontent among the Kurdish population.

Officials denied the allegations of torture.

"If regional security is upset and there is disorder, we will act very strongly against troublemakers", Mr. Khorshidi warned.

Mahabad is located in northwestern Iran's West Azerbaijan province, and was established in 1946 as the first and only Kurdish state in history. However, the Kurdish Republic of Mahabad was defeated later the same year.

Iranian authorities are particularly wary of ethnic strife or potential revenge attacks, and not only in Kurdish areas. Some seven percent of Iran's population is Kurdish.

Besides the Kurds-dominated areas, the oil-rich province of Khouzistan bordering Iraq and Sistan and Balouchistan bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan where Muslim-Sunnis are in majority are also in turmoil, mostly on cultural matters than ambitions of independence.

UNRESTS CONTINUE IN IRAN'S MINORITY-DOMINATED PROVINCES-Body

In Khuzestan, bloody riots last April between Arab speaking population with security forces left many people killed and hundreds arrested saw new clashes in recent days.

There too, officials in Tehran blamed “foreign inspired agitators” for the unrests, a reference to supporters of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

According to the government, troubles in this south-western region of Iran situated on the borders with Iraq started last week after the distribution of a letter, attributed to Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Ali Abtahi, the former Vice-president for Legal and Parliamentary Affairs calling for a “total persianisation” of the Province that is dominated by Iranians of Arab ethnic speaking an Arabic dialect of their own. As a result, people turned their wrath on government, attacked banks, public buildings and properties, set fire on buses and burned tires in the streets of major cities and localities.

But a spokesman for the London-based Democratic Popular Front of Ahvazi Arabs had told the “Aljazira” Television of the Persian Gulf Emirate of Qatar that security forces had opened fire on the people participating at a peaceful demonstration called by the Front to protest “80 years of Iranian occupation” of the Province”.

But a spokesman for the London-based Democratic Popular Front of Ahvazi Arabs had told the “Aljazira” Television of the Persian Gulf Emirate of Qatar that security forces had opened fire on the people participating at a peaceful demonstration called by the Front to protest “80 years of Iranian occupation” of the Province”.

The statement provoked the anger of the Iranian government that immediately ordered the “temporary” closure of the Television’s offices in Tehran.

In the eastern province where the Sunnis are discriminated, their mosques often burned out and schools in local dialects shut, the unrests are usually blamed on the smugglers. ENDS IRAN UNRESTS 6805

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UNRESTS CONTINUES IN IRAN’S MINORITY-DOMINATED PROVINCES

TEHRAN, 6 August (IPS) Bloody unrests continue in at least three Iranian provinces, with Kurdish sources accusing the clerical-led authorities of having killed “tens” of people in Iranian Kurdish dominated areas.

Against Tehran and local officials claiming that order has been restored in the northwestern Kurdish towns of Mahabad, Baneh and Saqqez, where there are widespread riots, Kurds says Revolutionary Guards supported by anti-riot units, plainclothes men and Law Enforcement Forces used heavy weapons in crushing the riots.

Kurdish dissident groups say the Iranian government has deployed large numbers of troops in Kurdish cities in an effort to quell three weeks of civil unrest that has left up to 20 people dead and more than 300 wounded, according to reports from dissident groups.

They said as many as 100,000 state security forces, backed up by helicopter gunships had moved into the region to crack down on pro-Kurdish demonstrations.

Kurdsat, an Iraqi-Kurdish satellite channel based in Sulaimaniyah, reported yesterday that police had detained as many as 1,200 people after the incident.

Further unrest was feared yesterday in Bokan and Sinne, where up to 6,000 Special Forces soldiers were said to have gathered. Opposition leaders appealed for calm and called for the international community to put pressure on the Iranian authorities to halt the crackdown.

In a statement, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, outlawed in Iran and is based in northern Iraq, urged "international organisations, human-rights supporters and the international community to make efforts to stop the bloodshed of the Iranian Kurdish people by the Islamic republic regime of Iran".

On 16 June, Iranian Intelligence Minister Hojjatoleslam Ali Younesi accused the US and Britain were seeking to instigate ethnic and religious tensions in the Middle East and in Iran.

The unrest began in the town of Mahabad, in early July, following the shooting of Shivan Qaderi, a Kurdish opposition activist, also known as Seyed Kamal Astam, or Astom, and two other Kurdish men, by Iranian forces on 9 July, in circumstances where they may not have posed an immediate threat. The security forces then reportedly tied Shivan Qaderi’s body to a Toyata jeep and dragged him in the streets.

The local Iranian authorities are reported to have confirmed that a person of this name, “who was on the run and wanted by the judiciary”, was indeed shot and killed by security forces at this time, allegedly while trying to evade arrest, according to the London-based Amnesty International.

The photos of Mr. Qaderi on the internet depicted signs suggesting torture, including the dead man’s bloodied face and bruised and swollen back. But Governor Samadi said photos posted online were different from those taken before authorities handed over the body to Qadri’s family.

Qadri was considered a key figure in organizing celebrations after the election of Massoud Barzani as the first president of Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region last month. The celebrations prompted clashes with police in several Kurdish towns in western Iran.

During the days following Shivan Qaderi’s death, several thousand Mahabad residents, mainly youths, took to the streets to protest the killings. Since then, demonstrations have erupted in the mainly Kurdish neighbouring towns of Sanandaj, Mahabad, Sardasht, Piranshahr, Oshnavieh, Baneh, Sinne, Bokan and Saqqez. The Iranian state-owned media has reported and confirmed the unrest of the past 3 weeks, but have described the situation as due to “hooligan and criminal elements, Amnesty added.

Kurdish activist Jalal Qhavami said Qadri was a Kurdish nationalist who led almost all anti-regime protests in Mahabad, which prompted police to seek his arrest.

Ghavami said Iranian opposition Kurdish groups including the DPIK Party and Pejvak have called on Kurds in western Iran to begin a civil disobedience movement.

Barzani is a Sunni Muslim Iraqi Kurd and leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party. Mustafa Barzani, Massoud’s father, was commander-in-chief of the republic of Kurdistan in Iran, headed by Qazi Muhammad in Mahabad in 1945. Iran’s armed forces recaptured Mahabad and dismantled the self-proclaimed republic in 1946.

In a letter dated 22 July 2005 the organization wrote to Iran’s Interior Minister, Abdolvahed Mousavi-Lari, seeking clarification of the circumstances surrounding the killing of Shivan Qaderi , and the arrest of scores of people in Mahabad and the surrounding areas in the days following his death and expressed concern that the killing may have been deliberate and that those detained may not have access to independent lawyers of their choice or their families and that they may be at risk of torture or ill-treatment.

The Kurds are one of Iran’s many ethnic minority groups, and number around 10% of the population. They mainly live in the province of Kurdistan and neighbouring provinces bordering Turkey and Iraq. A UN report released last week said authorities were denying basic amenities to Iran's ethnic and religious minorities and in some cases seizing land.

Among those arrested during the disturbance are prominent Kurdish human rights defenders and activists, including (female) Dr. Roya Tolou’i, a women’ rights activist, arrested at her home in Sanandaj on 2 August.

According to her husband, who has not been allowed access to her, she is detained on charges of “disturbing the peace” and “acting against national security”. Azad Zamani, a member of the Association for the Defence of Children's Rights (ADCR, or Kanoun-e Defa’ az Hoqouq-e Koudekan), was also arrested in Sinne.

Mr. Qavami, a journalist and a member of the editorial board of the journal “Payam-e Mardom”, was arrested at his workplace after agents of Iran’s security forces initially raided his residence. Mahmoud Salehi, the spokesman for the Organisational Committee to Establish Trade Unions, was arrested in the early hours of 4 August, and the security forces have also closed down two Kurdish newspapers.

According to officials that blames the unrest on the Turkish-Kurdish rebel from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), at least six people, including four Iranian soldiers, were killed near Turkish borders.

"Four soldiers were killed and five others wounded in an ambush near the northwestern town of Oshnoviyeh”, said provincial deputy governor Abbas Khorshidi, adding that "unknown gunmen opened fire on several patrols" in a separate incident.

"It was terrorists from the PKK who carried out the ambush", ministry spokesman Jahanbakhsh Khanjani said, adding that the Iranian soldiers who died were "martyred". The spokesman gave no further details of the attack and did not elaborate on why the PKK was held responsible rather than Iran-oriented Kurdish rebel groups such as the DPIK and the Marxist organization Komaleh.

Branded a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, the PKK has fought Ankara since 1984 and recently stepped up violence in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast after calling off a five-year unilateral ceasefire in June last year.

Tehran and Ankara are linked by an accord calling on Iran to fight the PKK and for Turkey to fight the Mojahedeen Khalq Organisation, an armed Iranian opposition group based in Iraq.

Images of Astom's swollen and bloodied body circulated on the Internet, fueling rumours that he had been tortured and exacerbating discontent among the Kurdish population.

Officials denied the allegations of torture.

"If regional security is upset and there is disorder, we will act very strongly against troublemakers", Mr. Khorshidi warned.

Mahabad is located in northwestern Iran's West Azerbaijan province, and was established in 1946 as the first and only Kurdish state in history. However, the Kurdish Republic of Mahabad was defeated later the same year.

Iranian authorities are particularly wary of ethnic strife or potential revenge attacks, and not only in Kurdish areas. Some seven percent of Iran's population is Kurdish.

Besides the Kurds-dominated areas, the oil-rich province of Khouzistan bordering Iraq and Sistan and Balouchistan bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan where Muslim-Sunnis are in majority are also in turmoil, mostly on cultural matters than ambitions of independence.

In Khuzestan, bloody riots last April between Arab speaking population with security forces left many people killed and hundreds arrested saw new clashes in recent days.

There too, officials in Tehran blamed “foreign inspired agitators” for the unrests, a reference to supporters of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

According to the government, troubles in this south-western region of Iran situated on the borders with Iraq started last week after the distribution of a letter, attributed to Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Ali Abtahi, the former Vice-president for Legal and Parliamentary Affairs calling for a “total persianisation” of the Province that is dominated by Iranians of Arab ethnic speaking an Arabic dialect of their own. As a result, people turned their wrath on government, attacked banks, public buildings and properties, set fire on buses and burned tires in the streets of major cities and localities.

But a spokesman for the London-based Democratic Popular Front of Ahvazi Arabs had told the “Aljazira” Television of the Persian Gulf Emirate of Qatar that security forces had opened fire on the people participating at a peaceful demonstration called by the Front to protest “80 years of Iranian occupation” of the Province”.

But a spokesman for the London-based Democratic Popular Front of Ahvazi Arabs had told the “Aljazira” Television of the Persian Gulf Emirate of Qatar that security forces had opened fire on the people participating at a peaceful demonstration called by the Front to protest “80 years of Iranian occupation” of the Province”.

The statement provoked the anger of the Iranian government that immediately ordered the “temporary” closure of the Television’s offices in Tehran.

In the eastern province where the Sunnis are discriminated, their mosques often burned out and schools in local dialects shut, the unrests are usually blamed on the smugglers. ENDS IRAN UNRESTS 6805

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UNRESTS CONTINUES IN IRAN’S MINORITY-DOMINATED PROVINCES

TEHRAN, 6 August (IPS) Bloody unrests continue in at least three Iranian provinces, with Kurdish sources accusing the clerical-led authorities of having killed “tens” of people in Iranian Kurdish dominated areas.

Against Tehran and local officials claiming that order has been restored in the northwestern Kurdish towns of Mahabad, Baneh and Saqqez, where there are widespread riots, Kurds says Revolutionary Guards supported by anti-riot units, plainclothes men and Law Enforcement Forces used heavy weapons in crushing the riots.

Kurdish dissident groups say the Iranian government has deployed large numbers of troops in Kurdish cities in an effort to quell three weeks of civil unrest that has left up to 20 people dead and more than 300 wounded, according to reports from dissident groups.

They said as many as 100,000 state security forces, backed up by helicopter gunships had moved into the region to crack down on pro-Kurdish demonstrations.

Kurdsat, an Iraqi-Kurdish satellite channel based in Sulaimaniyah, reported yesterday that police had detained as many as 1,200 people after the incident.

Further unrest was feared yesterday in Bokan and Sinne, where up to 6,000 Special Forces soldiers were said to have gathered. Opposition leaders appealed for calm and called for the international community to put pressure on the Iranian authorities to halt the crackdown.

In a statement, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, outlawed in Iran and is based in northern Iraq, urged "international organisations, human-rights supporters and the international community to make efforts to stop the bloodshed of the Iranian Kurdish people by the Islamic republic regime of Iran".

On 16 June, Iranian Intelligence Minister Hojjatoleslam Ali Younesi accused the US and Britain were seeking to instigate ethnic and religious tensions in the Middle East and in Iran.

The unrest began in the town of Mahabad, in early July, following the shooting of Shivan Qaderi, a Kurdish opposition activist, also known as Seyed Kamal Astam, or Astom, and two other Kurdish men, by Iranian forces on 9 July, in circumstances where they may not have posed an immediate threat. The security forces then reportedly tied Shivan Qaderi’s body to a Toyata jeep and dragged him in the streets.

The local Iranian authorities are reported to have confirmed that a person of this name, “who was on the run and wanted by the judiciary”, was indeed shot and killed by security forces at this time, allegedly while trying to evade arrest, according to the London-based Amnesty International.

The photos of Mr. Qaderi on the internet depicted signs suggesting torture, including the dead man’s bloodied face and bruised and swollen back. But Governor Samadi said photos posted online were different from those taken before authorities handed over the body to Qadri’s family.

Qadri was considered a key figure in organizing celebrations after the election of Massoud Barzani as the first president of Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region last month. The celebrations prompted clashes with police in several Kurdish towns in western Iran.

During the days following Shivan Qaderi’s death, several thousand Mahabad residents, mainly youths, took to the streets to protest the killings. Since then, demonstrations have erupted in the mainly Kurdish neighbouring towns of Sanandaj, Mahabad, Sardasht, Piranshahr, Oshnavieh, Baneh, Sinne, Bokan and Saqqez. The Iranian state-owned media has reported and confirmed the unrest of the past 3 weeks, but have described the situation as due to “hooligan and criminal elements, Amnesty added.

Kurdish activist Jalal Qhavami said Qadri was a Kurdish nationalist who led almost all anti-regime protests in Mahabad, which prompted police to seek his arrest.

Ghavami said Iranian opposition Kurdish groups including the DPIK Party and Pejvak have called on Kurds in western Iran to begin a civil disobedience movement.

Barzani is a Sunni Muslim Iraqi Kurd and leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party. Mustafa Barzani, Massoud’s father, was commander-in-chief of the republic of Kurdistan in Iran, headed by Qazi Muhammad in Mahabad in 1945. Iran’s armed forces recaptured Mahabad and dismantled the self-proclaimed republic in 1946.

In a letter dated 22 July 2005 the organization wrote to Iran’s Interior Minister, Abdolvahed Mousavi-Lari, seeking clarification of the circumstances surrounding the killing of Shivan Qaderi , and the arrest of scores of people in Mahabad and the surrounding areas in the days following his death and expressed concern that the killing may have been deliberate and that those detained may not have access to independent lawyers of their choice or their families and that they may be at risk of torture or ill-treatment.

The Kurds are one of Iran’s many ethnic minority groups, and number around 10% of the population. They mainly live in the province of Kurdistan and neighbouring provinces bordering Turkey and Iraq. A UN report released last week said authorities were denying basic amenities to Iran's ethnic and religious minorities and in some cases seizing land.

Among those arrested during the disturbance are prominent Kurdish human rights defenders and activists, including (female) Dr. Roya Tolou’i, a women’ rights activist, arrested at her home in Sanandaj on 2 August.

According to her husband, who has not been allowed access to her, she is detained on charges of “disturbing the peace” and “acting against national security”. Azad Zamani, a member of the Association for the Defence of Children's Rights (ADCR, or Kanoun-e Defa’ az Hoqouq-e Koudekan), was also arrested in Sinne.

Mr. Qavami, a journalist and a member of the editorial board of the journal “Payam-e Mardom”, was arrested at his workplace after agents of Iran’s security forces initially raided his residence. Mahmoud Salehi, the spokesman for the Organisational Committee to Establish Trade Unions, was arrested in the early hours of 4 August, and the security forces have also closed down two Kurdish newspapers.

According to officials that blames the unrest on the Turkish-Kurdish rebel from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), at least six people, including four Iranian soldiers, were killed near Turkish borders.

"Four soldiers were killed and five others wounded in an ambush near the northwestern town of Oshnoviyeh”, said provincial deputy governor Abbas Khorshidi, adding that "unknown gunmen opened fire on several patrols" in a separate incident.

"It was terrorists from the PKK who carried out the ambush", ministry spokesman Jahanbakhsh Khanjani said, adding that the Iranian soldiers who died were "martyred". The spokesman gave no further details of the attack and did not elaborate on why the PKK was held responsible rather than Iran-oriented Kurdish rebel groups such as the DPIK and the Marxist organization Komaleh.

Branded a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, the PKK has fought Ankara since 1984 and recently stepped up violence in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast after calling off a five-year unilateral ceasefire in June last year.

Tehran and Ankara are linked by an accord calling on Iran to fight the PKK and for Turkey to fight the Mojahedeen Khalq Organisation, an armed Iranian opposition group based in Iraq.

Images of Astom's swollen and bloodied body circulated on the Internet, fueling rumours that he had been tortured and exacerbating discontent among the Kurdish population.

Officials denied the allegations of torture.

"If regional security is upset and there is disorder, we will act very strongly against troublemakers", Mr. Khorshidi warned.

Mahabad is located in northwestern Iran's West Azerbaijan province, and was established in 1946 as the first and only Kurdish state in history. However, the Kurdish Republic of Mahabad was defeated later the same year.

Iranian authorities are particularly wary of ethnic strife or potential revenge attacks, and not only in Kurdish areas. Some seven percent of Iran's population is Kurdish.

Besides the Kurds-dominated areas, the oil-rich province of Khouzistan bordering Iraq and Sistan and Balouchistan bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan where Muslim-Sunnis are in majority are also in turmoil, mostly on cultural matters than ambitions of independence.

In Khuzestan, bloody riots last April between Arab speaking population with security forces left many people killed and hundreds arrested saw new clashes in recent days.

There too, officials in Tehran blamed “foreign inspired agitators” for the unrests, a reference to supporters of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

According to the government, troubles in this south-western region of Iran situated on the borders with Iraq started last week after the distribution of a letter, attributed to Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Ali Abtahi, the former Vice-president for Legal and Parliamentary Affairs calling for a “total persianisation” of the Province that is dominated by Iranians of Arab ethnic speaking an Arabic dialect of their own. As a result, people turned their wrath on government, attacked banks, public buildings and properties, set fire on buses and burned tires in the streets of major cities and localities.

But a spokesman for the London-based Democratic Popular Front of Ahvazi Arabs had told the “Aljazira” Television of the Persian Gulf Emirate of Qatar that security forces had opened fire on the people participating at a peaceful demonstration called by the Front to protest “80 years of Iranian occupation” of the Province”.

But a spokesman for the London-based Democratic Popular Front of Ahvazi Arabs had told the “Aljazira” Television of the Persian Gulf Emirate of Qatar that security forces had opened fire on the people participating at a peaceful demonstration called by the Front to protest “80 years of Iranian occupation” of the Province”.

The statement provoked the anger of the Iranian government that immediately ordered the “temporary” closure of the Television’s offices in Tehran.

In the eastern province where the Sunnis are discriminated, their mosques often burned out and schools in local dialects shut, the unrests are usually blamed on the smugglers. ENDS IRAN UNRESTS 6805

 

Comments

2 comment(s) on this page. Add your own comment below.

ande e
Friday, May 23, 2008 10:10 [ 1 ]

I CAN ONLY URGE THE IRANINAIN AUTHORITIES TO PLEASE ALLOW THE CREATOR TO DECIDE ON WHO SHOULD LIVE OR WHO SHOULD DIE.THE CRAZE THAT DRIVES SECTS TO KILLING THOSE THEY BRAND AS INFIDELS LEAVES ME WONDERING WHO MADE THEM FIDELS? WHOEVER THEY KILL FOR MUST NOT BE POTENT ENOUGH TO, THATS WHY THEY TEND TO HELP HIM.

Mahtab
Saturday, February 21, 2009 14:05 [ 2 ]

I must say the Kurds are no different than animals, they hate Iranians and the Turks regardless. They kill ordinary people, they take out their hate on everyone including the innocent children, they are ruthless.

We have experienced so much hurt and hate from them that when we hear a kurd is nearby all we do is just runaway for our lives.

Comments on this page are closed.



As of January 2009, this site is definitely closed, but you can follow Safa Haeri on his new blog: DAMAVAND at http://wwwdamavandsafa.blogspot.com


UNRESTS CONTINUE IN IRAN'S MINORITY-DOMINATED PROVINCES-Main
Tehran dispatched hundreds of soldiers and rev guards to crush popular riots in Kurdish areas



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