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The latest news on kurds

1. Press conference: 46th day of hunger strike for Kurdish prisoners in Iran-“We hereby urge the Kurdish prisoners to end the hunger strike as we see that it has fulfilled its purpose”
2. PJAK-statement on the Kurdish Prisoners in Iran: we appeal to our comrades to end their campaign

3. KNK – Statement on the Kurdish Prisoners in Iran

4. ON THE HUNGER STRIKE OF KURDISH PRISONERS AWAITING EXECUTION IN IRAN

5. Press conference: 46th day of hunger strike for Kurdish prisoners in Iran
6. Iranian appeal court reduces woman campaigner’s jail term

7. Iran bombs cross-border areas in Iraq-PJAK

8. Iran: Kurdish women activist detained incommunicado

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1. Press conference: 46th day of hunger strike for Kurdish prisoners in Iran


MEPs Vittorio AGNOLETTO (GUE/NGL) , Jean LAMBERT (Greens-EFA), Feleknas UCA (GUE/NGL), invite you to a press conference on this issue on Thursday 9 October at 10:00, EP Press Room Anna Polytovskaya, Brussels

Representatives of the “International Prisoners’ Solidarity Committee”, the “Kurdistan National Congress KNK” and PJAK are participant and will inform the journalists on the situation



2008-10-09



Press Conference statement on the Kurdish prisoner’s hunger Strike in Iranian Prisons

“We hereby urge the Kurdish prisoners to end the hunger strike as we see that it has fulfilled its purpose”



After the takeover of the Shiite political elite with the Islamist-nationalist ideological orientation in 1979 until today, oppression, assimilation, torture, executions and murders have been a major part of the lives of the political activists, and the ethnic and religious minorities.

The Kurdish people have always been an important element in the fight for democracy and the realization of universal human values and standards in Iran.

In recent years and after a long political vacuum in Iran and Eastern Kurdistan, students, women activists and teachers in the Kurdish region have played a leading role in the country. All these above-mentioned social groups have had leading roles in the oppositional stance against the rulers of the country on the issue of democracy and freedom.



The answer from the current regime with their oppressed institutions such as the Revolutionary Guards has been to revolutionize the increased militarization of the Kurdish area, hindering the entry of any Kurdish magazines and imprisoning journalists and school teachers as well as students.

A hunger strike started on August 25, 2008, by Kurdish political dissidents and prisoners and has today reached its 45th day. The hunger strike is concurrently held in the prisons of Tehran, Mariwan, Sine, Mako, Urmye, Saghez, Mahabad and Mako.


The hunger strike is a stand against the Iranian Islamic Republic’s undemocratic policies, the prison situation, the country’s legal system and lack of human rights as well as torture and the death penalty in the country.

In the first press release from the prisoners, the hunger strike is described as an attempt to reach out of the prison walls and to the outside world with its political will and to show the fight carried on for democracy and freedom.

45 days of struggle has passed for the prisoners but the Islamist regime has yet not met the democratic rights as the prisoners are fighting for. This of anything is a testimony to the rulers and the outside world about the determination and the struggle of the Kurdish people for democracy and human rights in the country.

Moreover the hunger strike has managed to transform the regime’s dark prisons into platforms for unity and resistance against the regime’s undemocratic methods.

The hunger strike has also succeeded in shedding light on the prisoners’ situation, the existing policy, the non-profit organizations, activists and especially women activists in the Iranian regime’s prisons and it has also led to an update on the Kurdish issue and the situation of the other ethnic ties in the country, while the whole world is busy with the nuclear issue and the financial crisis.

We hereby urge the Kurdish prisoners to end the hunger strike as we see that it has fulfilled its purpose of emphasizing the situation of the prisoners in the Iranian prisons and the otherwise cruel treatment that the prisoners are subjected to, as well as the prisoner’s determination to continue with the hunger strike on an unlimited basis.




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2. PJAK-statement on the Kurdish Prisoners in Iran: we appeal to our comrades to end their campaign



To the public and international opinion



2008-10-06



Within the last few years Iran has entered a new phase of force and coercion, which is the outcome of its last few years’ government policies as well as the new impact of internal and internal issues. The exertion of pressure on civil activists, coercion of people and creating fear and terror atmosphere has become the common routines of the current regime. Meanwhile the imposition of imprisonment on a various scale and most importantly the executions of civil- political activists as well as teenagers in the public have reached its highest level and have broken the silence.



The failure to implement international human rights or even the specified domestic rights, unfair trial, deprivation of basic rights, denial of having a lawyer, denial of meeting with family along with appalling condition of prisons rendered our imprisoned comrades to forge a campaign in order to encounter all these injustice force and coercion and to play a pioneering role on behalf of our party.



After receiving the approval from coordination committee of our party, all our imprisoned comrades before all, those who were imprisoned in Wurme, Sine and Awin-Tehran, staged an infinite hunger strike in order to achieve their goals, which was summarised in six points. Other prisoners embraced the strike and after participation of other comrades, various different detainees belonging to different organisations and even religious institutions as well as civil activities with different political identifications took part, the strike became nationwide campaign and due to its strengths and dedication it spread out in a contemporary humanist way.



At the beginning the Iranian Regime was expecting that it would be an absurd necessity of revolutionary thoughts and because they did not expect such a unified, well-organised campaign they did not pay any attention to the detainees demands or to recognise their rights to have an honourable life, therefore they took their stance based on these assumptions. After a short period of time due to ours resilient efforts as well as Kurdish sympathetic press the voice of this campaign reverberated around the world, in four parts of Kurdistan and abroad, the voice of solidarity was heard every where. The hunger strike directed by Apoist movement in Northern Kurdistan and Turkey’s prisons, which was declared immediately in a unique and unprecedented way was of significant importance.



Although some parties, media, line or sections had a specific agenda or intention adopted an unintelligible and incoherent silence, but many institutions, organisation and other sides had a positive position and acted responsibly. However this solidarity did not reach its expected level, but rendered a unity among Kurds as well as other nations of Iran and the region and assembled the political groups on a front.



A number of representatives in European Parliament supported the campaign as well as some human rights activists along with the famous Iranian lawyers. The support of Apo the Leader for this campaign and declaration of his position rendered strength and enhanced the dedication of these revolutionary detainees. Apo the Leader as a political prisoner, who lives in an inhuman and marginalised situation, is aware of living in such a condition and he did not stay silence and took his position.



The Iranian regime reconsidered its position through the adaptation of indirect negotiation; it also softened its stance. Although it would not suffice, we should have an optimistic view. Today is the day that the campaign of our comrades entered it s 45 and we are at a very dangerous point, where some people have jeopardised their lives in order to create the culture of democracy. By paying attention to these activities, which have become very close to their objectives, one could believe that these activities have created a culture of democracy and through this campaign identified its future direction.



We can foresee a clear future. If the Kurdish detainees managed to forge such a significant campaign in an unmanageable situation, it’s because all united in this campaign and this is what we have come up with. It was also proved that the democratic activities of our nation can not be stopped; campaign, struggle and the Will of our nation will over come any difficulties.



Meanwhile Apo the leader after a thorough scrutiny of this sensitive period of the campaign, appealed to the detainees not to jeopardise their lives. The leading members of PKK also sent a formal letter to the leadership of our party and called for the freedom of our detainees. A number of humanist’s intellectuals also officially put forward the same application with reference to securing the lives of our prisoners.



The general secretary of Free Live Party of Kurdistan, PJAK and the coordination committee of PJAK debated in depth this issue and after a thorough examination, decided to put an end to this activity. By taking into account that the campaign was successful, we appeal to our comrades to end their campaign.



In resistance to all psychological pressure and aggressiveness of Iranian regime and its supporters as well as all suspicious parties, the campaign was ended successfully. This was an organized power, high sense of responsibilities and the powerful determination. We revere and honour such a heroic campaign of Kurdish and all Iranian nations and we congratulate them on this honourable resistance.



In order to achieve our goals and securing the culture of resistance and struggle, we would appeal to our nation to sustain this culture and to move forward in the direction pioneered by their heroes and to take this triumph as an example in their lives. We find it is necessary to congratulate our nation for this triumph.



On behalf of all of our comrades we thank and appreciate all organisations, institutions and personals that felt responsible and took an action in the forms of strike, protest or even by raising concern to support our detainees. We also salute our imprisoned comrades in Northern Kurdistan and Turkey for their solidarity toward us and we wish them immediate freedom.



Once again we urge the Iranian Regime to learn a lesson from this experiment and to take serious measure to bring about democratic changes in accordance with international norm and to improve the conditions of the prisons, which is the natural rights of all prisoners.



In addition the culture of Will and Resistance has been created among people who will not be defeated. In the name of PJAK we will follow this road of resistance to achieve full freedom for our comrade. We are prepared to use all forms of struggle and offer all kinds of dedication and support to deserve to be comrade of these campaigners.





Coordination Committee of

Free Life Party of Kurdistan

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3. KNK – Statement on the Kurdish Prisoners in Iran

09 October, 2008

The 46th day of the hunger strike

In order to condemn the policies of Islamic Republic of Iran, currently tens of Kurdish political-civil detainees have staged ahunger strike in Iranian prisons. Their lives are in a great danger and need urgent attention!

We support all the demands of the Kurdish prisoners. The demands and the objectives of the hunger strikers in according to human rights standards are political and fundemental rights.

We, the Kurdistan National Kongress (KNK) are against all Iranian’s regime policies of executions, torture and ill-treatments of political and civil detainees that violate all international human rights, laws and standards.

Therefore, we demand from the Islamic Republic of Iran to suspend death sentences given to all political and civil activists in Iran and Kurdistan.

To recognize the political and civil identification of all political prisoners as well as humanitarian treatment.

To put an end to torture, persecution and inhuman treatment of the prisoners.

Iranian judiciary system and its institutions should be reviewed in accordance with both human rights conventions and international prohibition of torture’s agreement and should be democratized.

Dear Guests and journalists,
Now they are in the 46th day of the hunger strike. We thing that they have obtained some of their demands. First of all the Kurds in all part of Kurdistan and the world public opinion are now aware about the situation of the Kurds and Kurdish prisoners. Their hunger strike has transformed the regime’s dark prisons into platforms for unity and resistance against the regime’s undemocratic policies.

The hunger strike has also succeeded in shedding light on the prisoners’ situation, the existing policies, the non-profit organizations and it has led to an update on the Kurdish issue.

Therefore we add our voice to the Kurdish Leader Mr. Abdullah Ocalan, the PJAK, the PKK and all of the Kurdish intellectuals and organisations and call on the Kurdish prisoners to end the hunger strike. The hunger strike has fulfilled its purpose of bringing to light the situation and conditions of the prisoners in the Iranian prisons.

We would like to appeal to all human rights organizations and institutions around the world, all intellectuals, all political and individuals to follow up on the situation of the Kurds and Kurdish prisoners in Iran.
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4. ON THE HUNGER STRIKE OF KURDISH PRISONERS AWAITING EXECUTION IN IRAN



STATEMENT FROM JEAN LAMBERT MEP





The European Union is opposed to the death penalty and I fully support that position.

On many occasions, the European Parliament has called on Iran not to carry out executions, just as we have called on the United States and other countries which still maintain this extreme punishment.



So today, I call on those on hunger strike in Iran’s prisons to end this form of protest. Do not give the Iranian Government what it wants – that is, your death. Maintain your strength for the fight for your lives. You are supported, people across the world are joining the struggle with you.



We are also be calling on the Iranian Government to ensure fair trials, where those accused have the right to a real and effective defence, which includes legal representation and having the means and opportunity to test witnesses and evidence.



All those detained should be kept in humane conditions which ensure human dignity.



The European Parliament has been hosting a major international conference on human right this week. We seek the same high standards from every country. Human rights are individual and indivisible.



So I call again on those facing death through hunger strike, please draw further on your courage and choose to live. You are not alone.



8th October, Bruxelles

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5. Press conference: 46th day of hunger strike for Kurdish prisoners in Iran

08/10/2008
Mesop.

Hundreds of Kurdish activists have been on hunger strike in Iranian prisons for the last 46 days to protest against the political repression of the fundamental rights of Kurds in that country. Eight of them are under threat of imminent execution, having been convicted by the (so-called) Iranian justice system of being “God’s enemies”. Several Kurdish prisoners in Iran are literally starving! The international community must react and take the appropriate measures against Teheran. The Iranian regime considers that by executing these Kurds, by suppressing and executing democratic intellectuals, defenders of freedom and democracy and human rights activists, they will clear Iran of all dissidents and opponents.
MEPs Vittorio AGNOLETTO (GUE/NGL) , Jean LAMBERT (Greens-EFA), Feleknas UCA (GUE/NGL), invite you to a press conference on this issue on Thursday 9 October at 10:00, EP Press Room Anna Polytovskaya, Brussels
Representatives of the “International Prisoners’ Solidarity Committee” and of the “Kurdistan National Congress KNK” and PJAK will be present and will inform journalists present on the situation.
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6. Iranian appeal court reduces woman campaigner’s jail term

10/9/2008
AFP
TEHRAN • An Iranian appeals court has upheld the conviction of a women’s rights campaigner in the ethnically Kurdish northwest on national security grounds but reduced her jail sentence to 18 months, her lawyer said yesterday.
“Hana Abdi had been sentenced to five years in prison in the town of Garmey but after we objected to the verdict, the appeals court sentenced her to 18 months in prison to be served in (her hometown) Razan,” Mohammad Sharif said.
In December last year, the official IRNA news agency quoted a judge as saying that Abdi had been arrested with another woman – Ronak Safarzadeh – for “acting against national security by taking part in attacks in Sanandaj and for being members of the militant group PJAK.”
The Kurdish rebel group PJAK (Party of Free Life of Kurdistan), has claimed a string of deadly attacks against Iranian security forces in northwestern Iran in recent years.
Iran’s Kordestan, Kermanshah and West Azarbaijan provinces on the border with Iraq all have substantial Kurdish populations. Sanandaj is the capital of Kordestan province.
The lawyer said that Safarzadeh was still awaiting the outcome of her appeal in the case although she had been sentenced in a separate case that had also prompted an appeal.
“She has not been sentenced in this case yet. However she has been given a verdict of nine months imprisonment and a two million rial ($200) fine in another case,” Sharif said.
“In that case, she was convicted of illegally leaving Iran and possessing satellite equipment. We have objected to the verdict and we are awaiting the decision of the appeals court.” Both women have remained in custody in Sanandaj since their arrest in October last year. Abdi is 23 and Safarzadeh 24, according to the Kargozaran daily.
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7. Iran bombs cross-border areas in Iraq-PJAK

Oct 9, 2008
M&C

Baghdad – Iran has bombed Kurdish rebel positions in villages along the Iraq-Iran border on Thursday, a senior Iraqi official has said.
‘Heavy shelling began at midnight and continued for an hour,’ the director of Sulaymanyah Zarawa district, Ezad Wasso, told the Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency.
The bombing targeted the areas of Razka, Mardo, Shanawa, and Arka, some 15 kilometres from the Iraq-Iran border, Wasso explained, adding that no casualties were reported.
The Iranian attack was targeting the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK). PJAK is a militant Kurdish group based in northern Iraq. The group has been attacking the Kurdish province of Iran and other Kurdish areas.
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8. Iran: Kurdish women activist detained incommunicado

KurdishMedia.com
07/10/2008

London (KurdishMedia.com) 07 October 2008: A Kurdish women activist has been arrested in Iran, according to the Iranian Human Rights Organisation.
Nigin Shekhul-Islami was arrested by the Iranian Ettelaat, i.e. the intelligence services, in the capital Tehran and her whereabouts is unknown. The reason for her arrest is not made public. Shekhul-Islami was the coordinator of the women council for the cultural and social affairs of Nazermiri in Kurdistan. Shekhul-Islami has written a number of high profile articles about the situation of Iranian and Kurdish women.
Nigin Shekhul-Islami arrest comes about while the Kurdish prisoners of conscious are on hanger strike in Iranian prisons and Iran is under pressure internationally to improve its human rights record.
Shekhul-Islami is a prominent and influential religious and social Kurdish clan of Sunni faith.
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Iranian artillery resumes shelling Kurdistan region borders

PUKmedia
09-10-2008

An authorized source from Zarawa County, Pashdar District in Sulaimaniya Province told PUKmedia website that the Iranian artillery shelled yesterday several villages at the border areas in Zarawa County.
The source added that the bombardment continued for one hour and caused panic to the residents of these areas.
The Iranian bombardment came after a calm period in the area, where the Iranians shelled the border areas of Kurdistan region under the pretext of attacking the hideouts of PJAK elements in these areas.