Report of the Conference on November 28, 2022, in the Flemish Parliament

“Jin – Jîyan – Azadî”, a revolution in the making in Iran?

Yesterday, November 28, 2022, a successful conference took place in a committee room of the Flemish Parliament. All attention was drawn to the current protests in Iran, which are intensifying every day.

The spark for these protests originates in the Kurdish freedom and women’s movements. Not only the murder of the Kurdish Mahsa (Jina) Amini is proof of this, but in particular also the slogan “Jin – Jîyan – Azadî” (“Woman, Life, Freedom”), which has already set a lot in motion. Both in Iran and in the west.

The Kurdish Institute invited three female speakers who, each in turn, delivered captivating testimonials about the current situation in Iran, but also proposed very specific solutions.

Federal Representative Darya Safai, Amineh Kakabaveh – the Swedish politician from Rojhilat (Eastern Kurdistan) – and human rights activist Fatemeh Karimi made a very clear appeal to Western democracies and politicians.

  1. The West’s focus on the war in Ukraine is understandable. But at the same time, there is no longer any attention for the Islamic fundamentalist regimes in the Middle East. Amineh Kakabaveh not only referred to Iran, but also to the increasing fundamentalism in Turkey. Such regimes pose a real danger to the entire West and that is still greatly underestimated.
  2. The speakers demand that the democratic governments and institutions (UN, US and EU) impose severe sanctions on these regimes, but above all that they consistently stop all financial support and arms transfers. Weapons that the regimes in question use against the Kurdish population and other minorities.
  3. Finally, Amineh Kakabaveh criticized the attitude of Western democracies. Why continue to condemn organizations such as the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) as “terrorist” when it is well known that they do not pose any threat to the West. On the other hand, is it not high time that the state terrorism of the fascist-Islamic regimes is strongly condemned? State terrorism that is even committed on the territory of European countries, and for which there is a lot of evidence.

The Kurdish Institute wishes to thank the 3 speakers for their contribution to the success of the conference, and our gratitude goes in particular to Flemish representative Karl Vanlouwe. He moderated the conference, and took a clear position. There can be no negotiation with regimes such as Iran. Karl Vanlouwe therefore condemned the so-called “Iran deal”. A demarche by the federal government to extradite an Iranian terrorist in exchange for Belgian prisoners.

Amineh Kakabaveh finally addressed the deeper meaning of the slogan Jin – Jîyan – Azadî. It is, of course, much more than a slogan. It is the result of decades of efforts and uprising by Kurdish women in one of the most economically disadvantaged regions of Iran, the Kurdish provinces.