ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) in an open letter called on Finland, Norway, and Sweden to not ignore human right abuses in Iran amid a tour by Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to Scandinavian countries.
Iran’s foreign minister is attempting to save the controversial nuclear deal by meeting with European Union leaders. The Trump administration abandoned the deal, but EU countries continue to support it.
“It is high time for Finland, Norway, and Sweden, important actors committed to human rights and lasting peace and stability, to consider the fact that the Iranian regime’s internal and external policies are linked and cannot be separated,” the PDKI said.
Although the EU policy aims to separate the nuclear issue from the broader and interconnected internal and external problems emanating from Iran, systematic human rights violations continue, the Kurdish group added.
“The quest for nuclear weapons, support for various terrorist groups, interference in the internal affairs of other countries, destabilization of important parts of the Middle East, and so on are interconnected and need to be addressed as such.”
According to the PDKI, Iran has targeted non-Persian ethnic minorities in the country and “subjected them to all sorts of oppression and violence, ranging from systematic linguistic, cultural, economic, social, and political oppression to forced demographic change as well as forced assimilation.”
Even under President Hassan Rouhani, who is seen as a moderate figure in the West, the number of human rights violations has increased, the PDKI said.
Moreover, a disproportionate number of prisoners who have been executed are Kurds.
Kurdish majority areas suffer from poor economic conditions. As a result, many Kurds have been forced to carry goods on their backs from the Kurdistan Region to Iranian Kurdistan (Rojhilat) as their only source of income.
Iranian security forces often target these Kurdish border couriers (Kulbar). In 2018, 231 Kulbar were killed due to indiscriminate shooting.
The PDKI noted that Kurds who speak out against human rights violations have faced “arbitrary arrest, torture, and other ill-treatment, grossly unfair trials, imprisonment and, in some cases, the death penalty.”
The goal is to “to undermine the Kurdish national movement,” the group said.
The Iranian Kurdish party also expressed its concerns over the international community’s silence over the human rights violations against Kurds.
“The PDKI calls on the Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish governments to take a firm stance against the Iranian regime’s repeated and ongoing violations of the human rights of the Kurdish people.”
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany