ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A large group of protesters gathered on Monday in front of the UN headquarters in Erbil and called for international action against Iran’s missile attack on Iranian Kurdish (Rojhilati) parties inside the Kurdistan Region and the execution of political activists, both of which occurred on Saturday.
"Representing the four parts of Kurdistan, we have gathered here to protest the recent actions of the Islamic Republic," said Amjad Hussein Panahi, the brother of one of the three activists put to death, while speaking with Kurdistan 24.
"We call upon the international community, the European Union in particular, to object to Iran’s behavior," he said. "Unfortunately, business interests of countries like Holland and Germany in Iran keep them from commenting on the regime’s violations of human rights."
On Saturday morning, in a successive and coordinated manner, Iran launched seven missiles at the headquarters of parties in opposition to the Islamic Regime, killing 15 and injuring 42, according to officials in Koya. The action came hours after the much-feared execution of the three political activists, for whom major human rights organizations called on the country to stop.
"Ramin, Zaniar, and Loghman were political activists," said Amjed, referring to his brother and the other two. "According to the Geneva Conventions, they should not have been executed."
In a letter signed, "The concerned people of Kurdistan and families of Iranian Kurdish political dissidents," those gathered appealed for help from United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), UN human rights special rapporteurs Javaid Rehman, and Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch.
The letter ends, "We urge your prompt action to protect all Iranian dissident parties from further bombardment and confront further extremist acts or killing of unarmed women and children who have taken refuge in our residential camps."
Answering a question on his hopes for the future of Rojhilatis in Iran, Amjed stressed that "so long as the Islamic Regime remains, executions, and [missile] strikes will continue," adding that "the history of Iran is deeply intertwined with such transgressions."
Member of the Kurdistan Freedom Party's (PAK) leadership, Ardalan Khosrawi, also gave Kurdistan 24 a grim view of the future of Kurdish rights under the regime, saying, "Iran is an invader and must clear out of the Kurdish lands [Rojhilat]."
PAK is a group based in the Kurdistan Region and has mostly engaged in fights against the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, and should not be confused with the similarly-named Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK).
"The Kurds must have the right of self-determination and the ability, in a referendum, to decide their future," he added.
Khosrawi also vowed, "we will continue to fight all the enemies of the Kurds, wherever they may be lurking."
Editing by John J. Catherine
(Additional reporting by Wladimir Van Wilgenburg)