ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iranian authorities recently arrested at least six Kurds in Sanandaj, three of which they claim were planning an attack on an Iranian government-sponsored event.
Sanandaj city police chief Ali Azadi announced on Friday that the accused “were arrested before they could carry out any action,” Radio Farda reported.
They were accused of planning an attack during Jerusalem Day (Quds Day), a parade during which the Iranian government and its proxies in the region show solidarity with Palestinians.
In Iraq, Iranian-backed groups burned Israeli and American flags amid ongoing tensions between Iran and the United States.
Hengaw, a group focused on violations of Kurdish rights in Iran, said accusations by the authorities are fabricated.
Jila Mostajer, the manager of Hengaw, told Kurdistan 24 there was no connection to the event, and that they were not arrested on Quds Day.
The organization said in a statement that the three individuals were not members of any Kurdish party or Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, confirming their arrest 10 days ago in a village near Sanandaj.
Iranian intelligence service arrested Salah Saedi, Davood Ahmadi, and Heydar Saedi on May 22, accusing them of working with Kurdish parties.
Moreover, they also detained the wife and sister-in-law of Salah – Hawzhin Sarmasti and Sarbarz Sarmasti – who were later released on bail.
“The security forces couldn’t prove that the noted persons were related to any sabotage action on Quds Day,” Hengaw said.
Iranian security forces later arrested Idris and Rebwar Menbari, and Zahra Mohammadi, members of the NGO Nozhin on May 23, the Kurdistan Press Agency reported.
Idris and Rebwar were released, but until now Mohammadi is still in prison.
“Zahra Mohammadi is an activist living in Kurdistan of Iran. She is 29, and since last week has been arrested by” Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Mostajer told Kurdistan 24.
Mostajer said Mohammadi was accused of teaching Kurdish to a group of young children who lived in her neighborhood.
“Until now, her whereabouts are unknown,” she added. “We are deeply worried [about] her fate.”
According to Amnesty International’s annual human rights review published in February, ethnic minorities in Iran, including Kurds, continue to face “entrenched discrimination, curtailing their access to education, employment, and adequate housing.”
The report added that members of minority groups who spoke out against violations of their rights faced arbitrary arrest, torture, unfair trials, and imprisonment.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany