An important question that Kurdish experts always face is why in the important conflicts of the last few years between the PKK and its affiliates in Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey, why are there always children involved? Countless reports have emerged over the years of child soldiers in North-East Syria, in the fight against Turkey, and in the group’s struggle against Iran. Why do PKK leaders, and leaders of its affiliates, feel the need to recruit young people, that could serve the Kurdish nation more by developing their territories, and educating themselves?
Five years ago, at one point, a number of Iranian teenagers were deceived by PJAK forces with false promises, and were then forced to join the group. Bahman Orami was one of those children.
Abdullah Orami, Bahman’s father, is 62 years old and is engaged in animal husbandry. Bahman was his only son, and the only news of his son – his obituary – has reached the family. Bahman, like many other Iranians, fell victim to PJAK’s policy of enforced disappearance, by small militant groups that roam the border areas, looking to inforce their own internal quotas of new recruits by deceiving these youngsters.
Mr. Abdullah Orami told Human Rights Watch in Iranian Kurdistan that the family received the news of Bahman’s death five years ago, and since then, Bahman’s mother has been severely depressed and ill and has been hospitalized several times in Sanandaj.
Bahman’s father added: “Bahman was receiving job training, and worked in poultry farming. At night, his employer called me and said that they had taken Bahman and several others from the chicken farm he was working. I followed the group to a few places; Including the Marivan border. But I did not reach a conclusion about his health or whereabouts until we were finally informed of his death.”
“I suspect one of his friends in our village of deceiving Bahman. His name always pops up in conversations with others parents that have joined this group. But unfortunately I do not have proof.”
“During all these years, I did not believe in his death, nor did he or PJAK contact us. We did not even see Bahman’s body, nor had a proper funeral. My son does not have a grave! Is this behavior helping the Kurdish people? Our family has been destroyed. Where should we complain?”
It is worth mentioning that since the announcement of Bahman Orami’s death to his family, his family has not seen his body yet and they cannot confirm the claim of PKK and PJAK that he was killed in the war with Turkey.
The family says they find this suspicious, and sometimes believe Bahman is being held against his will, and the news of his death has only been spread to make the family stop searching for him.