General shutdown in Iran’s Kurdish areas

On September 21st several cities in Kurdistan Province, Kermanshah Province and the Kurdish cities of West Azerbaijan Province were part of a general shutdown of shops and businesses. According to eyewitnesses and published images, most shops took part in the shutdown, affecting the main markets of these cities.

The shutdown was in response to a call made by five Kurdish organisations and parties on September 10th: Iranian Kurdistan’s Komala Party, Kurdistan’s Toilers’ Komala, Organisation of Iranian Kurdistan Struggle, Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran and the Democratic Party of Kurdistan.

The general shutdown was a protest against the execution of three Kurdish prisoners and a Pasdaran missile attack on two Kurdish organisations in Iraq. Sanandaj, Baneh, Marivan and Kamyaran in Kurdistan Province, and Kermanshah, Bukan and Mahabad in the other two provinces, were among cities taking part in the general shutdown.

On September 8th, Ramin Hussein Panahi, Zaniar Moradi and Loghman Moradi were executed by the Iranian regime. Zaniar and Loghman Moradi were convicted of killing the son of Marivan’s Friday Prayers’ Leader, but they maintained that their confessions were extracted during their torture. Ramin Hussein Panahi was sentenced to death for membership of Komala and armed rebellion against the regime.

Also on September 8th, the Pasdaran launched a missile strike on the headquarters of the Democratic Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran and Kurdistan Democratic Party inside Iraq.

The security apparatus of the regime has had a heavy presence in the Kurdish areas in recent days and have arrested at least five people in the cities of Marivan, Sardasht and Ravansar.

In May 2010, following the execution of Farzad Kamangar and several other political prisoners, there was a general shutdown in Iran’s Kurdish cities. The following is the statement of Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network (the predecessor of Shahrokh Zamani Action Campaign) published at the time.

Shahrokh Zamani Action Campaign
16 September 2018

General shutdown in Iran’s Kurdish areas

According to agency reports there is a general shutdown in various towns in Iran’s Kurdish areas. The shutdown is in protest against the recent executions of Kurdish activists and the danger of further executions.

The shutdown of markets and shops is in effect in Mahabad, Oshnavieh and Sanandaj (1). There is heavy security forces’ presence in the streets which are empty of the local residents. In Kamyaran, the home town of Farzad Kamangar, the Kurdish teacher killed by the dictatorship on May 9, many school students, in what appears to be a spontaneous protest, have boycotted their classes.

On May 9 the Iranian regime murdered four Kurdish political prisoners: Farzad Kamangar, Shirin Alamhouli, Ali Heidarian, and Farhad Vakili (2). The recent executions bring the total of political executions in Iran since the disputed ‘election’ in June 2009 to eight. Currently there are said that 17 Kurds and three other prisoners on death row in Iran.

A long history of oppression

Sadly there is nothing new in the brutal repression and the denial of basic national rights of Iran’s national minorities. This regime not only follows the same policies as the Shah’s dictatorship but has taken them to a higher level of violence. But the national minorities have also taken their resistance to a higher level.

Nearly five years ago, on July 9, 2005, in Mahabad, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish republic of 1946-47, the Iranian regime’s security forces fired live rounds at a number of youth. Two were injured and Shwaneh Ghaderi, a politically active 30-year-old, was killed. At night his body was tied to the back of a pickup truck and dragged through the town before being released to his family.

News of this state murder enraged the crowds in Mahabad’s Independence Square and people protested against the treatment of Ghaderi and the brutal way he was killed by the dictatorship’s forces. They attacked government offices, breaking windows, and killed a member of the security forces. There were also protests in Sardasht and other Kurdish towns.

Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network

13 May 2010

(1) Mahabad and Oshnavieh are Kurdish town in Iran’s West Azerbaijan province.

(2) Mehdi Eslamian, who was not Kurdish, was also executed in Evin prison at the same time as the four Kurdish activists. He was accused of involvement in a bombing in Shiraz.

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