Kurdistan UN Special Rapporteur: Kurds almost half of political prisoners in Iran

UN Special Rapporteur: Kurds almost half of political prisoners in Iran
Asma Jahangir is a Pakistani human rights lawyer and social activist who is currently the UN Special Rapporteur to Iran. (Photo: Archive)

GENEVA, Sweden (Kurdistan24) – The UN Special Rapporteur on Monday reported on the dire situation of human rights in Iran and condemned the disproportionate imprisonment and execution of Kurds.

Asma Jahangir, the UN Special Rapporteur-designate for Human Rights in Iran, released her advanced remarks on the violation of rights in Iran.

In her report, she mentioned mutilation of prisoners, random shooting of Kurdish kulbar, and the unjust detention of a prominent Kurdish filmmaker.

Among the ongoing and pressing issues in Iran, Jahangir pointed to the persecution of Bahais, discrimination against women, and severe suppression of ethnic minorities, mainly Kurds.

“Almost one-fifth of the executions that took place in Iran in 2016 concerned Kurdish prisoners,” read her report.

“Among those executions, 21 were related to the crime of “moharebeh” (serious offences, caused by a lethal weapon) and one to the membership in a Kurdish political party,” Jahangir added.

“Kurdish political prisoners are said to represent almost half of the total number of political prisoners in Iran,” she continued.

Moreover, Jahangir spoke about the desperation of Kulbaran. The Kurdish term “kulbar” consists of “kul” meaning back and “bar” meaning carrying. “Kulbaran” is the plural form.

Many citizens in impoverished Iranian Kurdistan (Rojhilat) who find no other means to earn a livelihood auction their bodies and risk their lives.

They climb impassable corridors for long hours, and sometimes days while carrying goods such as tobacco, tires, and tea to make as little as USD $10 a day.

The kulbar often lose their lives through routine direct shootings by Iranian border guards, or through the hardships of their job.

Association for Human Rights in Kurdistan of Iran-Geneva reported that in 2016, Iranian border security forces killed 51 kulbars and injured 71 others, nearly twice as much as the previous year.

“The Special Rapporteur is seriously concerned about the alleged indiscriminate and blind use of lethal force towards Kurdish Kulbaran, which could be related to their ethnic affiliation,” she wrote.

The UN Rapporteur to Iran also said the Iranian government carried out blinding sentences.

“Iran continues to authorize punishments such as flogging, blinding, amputation, and stoning of individuals convicted of certain offences in breach of the absolute prohibition of torture and other forms of ill-treatment,” said the statement.

Jahangir also pointed out that in November, Keywan Karimi, a prominent Kurdish filmmaker, was orally summoned to present himself to receive a flogging sentence of 223 lashes.


Editing by Karzan Sulaivany