A former member: “Having economic and family problems, I was deceived by PJAK”

In an interview, A. Mahmudi, a former PJAK member, codenamed as Awat, born on 01/05/1999 in a village of Chalderan city, West Azerbaijan province, Iran, said: “My father had workshop in the area that went bankrupt. This led the family to many difficulties and challenges.”

“Due to financial and family problems, I left home and had to work as a Kolbar/illegal border carrying to earn money,” the former PJAK member said on the reason and motivation for joining the group. Referring to the difficult living conditions before joining PJAK, he said: “I had no place to sleep, I spent the nights in parks and mosques. Due to the current situation for Kolbars, I went to Iraq and I was wandering for three days. I had no choice but to join the group under the influence of one of the group’s cadres who promised me a better life, as well as emotional and nationalist slogans.”

Regarding the actions of the PJAK terrorist group inside Iran, he added: “During the years I was a member of the PJAK, I witnessed the group sending armed teams to the border villages to extort while naming it as popular help and tax. I myself participated several of such missions.”

This Kurdish citizen of Iran, who managed to escape from the group, said: “In the early days of my arrival in Qandil, I found the situation as dilemma and realized they have deceived me, so I wanted to escape, but I noticed the group was brutal to those who arrested while escaping. Two newly recruited members of the group, codenamed as Helgor and Rebwar, Iranian Kurdish citizens, were arrested while escaping and severely tortured, and then imprisoned in cramped and dark caves for some time.”

“I advise Kurdish citizens not to be deceived by the false propaganda of the PKK/PJAK. The journey to a hell namely Qandil is almost irreversible and any escape can be successful just by a miracle,” Mahmudi concluded by recommending Kurdish youth and teenagers. Qandil has become a cemetery for the Kurdish young and children. Even if a member manages to escape, he/she will face the nightmare of death for the rest of his/her life.”

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