Police in Mahabad, Iran’s Kurdistan region

Police in Mahabad, Iran’s Kurdistan region

Published by Ekurd Daily, May 27, 2015

ERBIL,— Iranian Kurdish activists say authorities have not provided the families of more than 100 detainees of the Mahabad riots in Iran’s Kurdistan region earlier this month with further information about their family members’ whereabouts or the charges against them.

The uprising in Mahabad started after a young Kurdish girl Farinaz Khosrawani, 25, jumped off the fourth storey of the Tara Hotel, where she worked, when Iranian intelligence (Itilaat) officers attempted to rape her.

Angry Kurds of Mahabad attacked the hotel and burned it down, in anger on hearing about the incident. The mass protesting outside was brutally attacked by police using real bullets and tear gas.

Activists said the detainees—some as young as 15—were unable to attend their last annual school exams due to their detentions.

“The government must officially address the condition and number of the arrests,” Dr. Mustafa Ahmadzade, a Kurdish political activist based in Mahabad, told Rudaw. “The city is in despair. Families don’t know where their loved ones are.”

Security officials in Western Azerbaijan province, where Mahabad is located, initially announced that no protesters were detained in connection with the unrest.

Ali Radfar, the deputy governor of the province, rebuffed in a press conference in early May accusations that any of the demonstrators were detained. Radfar said 28 people had been injured during the week-long riots that sent shockwaves through Kurdish inhabited regions after the mysterious death of 25-year-old Farinaz Khosrawani.

Officials said Khosrawani died instantly after falling from the fourth floor of a hotel.

But Iran’s deputy police chief, Said Montazar, said later that “individuals who were believed to have masterminded the riot” were arrested following the unrest, and did not elaborate on the number or whereabouts of the detainees.

“Further arrests were made in recent days following the riots,” Kurdish activist Ali Abadian told Rudaw after visiting the families of the prisoners.

Rudaw met with the families of two young detainees who said they had not been in touch with their sons following the riots.

“We have no trust in the judiciary and we have no knowledge about where our son is or whether he is fine,” said the father of a 17-year-old detainee who wished to remain anonymous.

The mother of another 17-year-old said her son “should be in school now doing his last exams.”

“We have asked them to at least let us know where our son is being held, but have received no answers,” she said, also asking to remain unnamed.

Saadon Mazoochi, a Kurdish human rights activist who signed a petition to the Iranian president about the detainees, said no official response has been given to their open letter which urges President Hassan Rouhani to order the release of the detainees.

“They arrested more people instead of responding to the grievances expressed in the petition,” Mazoochi said.

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