Elahe Poursadeghi’s father: My 14 year-old daughter was lucky to escape PJAK!!

Elahe Poursadeghi is a 17-year-old teenager from Marivan, who was deceived by PJAK at some point, but according to her father, she was “lucky” to be able to return to Iran and resume her normal life.

Iran Kurdistan Human Rights Watch interviewed the father of the Iranian Kurdish girl, who told him about his daughter’s horrific experiences.

 

Extortion

“We live in a distant village, near the border and far away from the city. PJAK forces have been traveling through our village and other villages for a long time, sometimes coming to our house. That is, every night some of them would choose a house and go there. Their goal was to collect money and food. In fact, we had to work with them. Sometimes they used force to get what they needed from these houses, and we did not dare to refuse them.”

“Sometimes they even took turns moving inside one house. Some were outside guarding and some were eating dinner, and the same thing was happening again. We did not dare to say anything and we were really afraid of them.”

“I kept my children away from them as much as I could. But sometimes I could hear them talking to my kids and even talking about traveling outside of Iran, and these issues with the kids. One night when some of them came back to our house, we were having dinner. I suddenly saw a PJAK member talking to my daughter in the yard. At that moment, something came up at my mother’s house and I had to go there. It did not take more than half an hour before I went there and returned home…”

“When I got home, my wife said she our daughter was gone! The PJAK members were not there either, we thought she might have gone outside, had followed me to her grandmother’s house nearby, but we never thought that PJAK had kidnapped our daughter! We looked inside our backyard and the surrounding fields, we knocked all doors of neighbours! She was only 14 years old, it did not even cross our minds that they had taken her…”

 

 

Searching for Elahe

“We waited for several hours for Elahe but there was no news about her and we looked for her but we did not find any trace of her, the next day we were able to find a group of PJAK members and after inquiring we found out that they had taken our daughter with them!! No matter how much we insisted on returning our daughter, they did not accept and said we sent her to Qandil and she is no longer here. I was very upset. Because they ate salt and broke bread with us, to Kurdish people, that is the highest level of betrayal!”

“It is true that we let them enter our house and eat our food, for fear of our lives, but we no longer thought that their whole policy of being in my house was to kidnap our little girl. We asked many of them to return our daughter, we begged them, but they just said that your daughter no longer belongs to us and belongs to Kurdistan now!”

“Unfortunately, I did not have a passport at that time to travel to Iraq to get news of my daughter. It had been almost forty days and I was also receiving my passport – the application takes a while –  when suddenly my daughter called me with a number. It belonged to Iraq. It seems that one night when she was a guard, she was able to save himself and escape, and then she reached an Iraqi village and called me from there.”

 

The return of Elahe

“With the follow-up I did, I was able to reach out to my daughter and bring her back. When I saw her, I could not believe that this was my daughter, she was very weakened and had no more life in her body. She was too small and too young to carry heavy loads and walk for hours through the mountains.”

“After she returned home and we talked to her, it turned out that the night they talked to her, they said that she was a young girl and that she could go study abroad, and they promised to send her to Europe, but when she had been taken outside of Iranian borders, and realized that there was no news of leaving Europe and that she had to stay there in the mountains, she had fought with them several times. But she could not do anything. What could a 14-year-old girl do? How could she stand against them?”

“She said that the only thing he was forced to do at that time was to carry 50 kg gas capsules, which were even heavier than her own weight. My daughter is small and light as a feather, she weighs only 46 kg.”

“This fate of my daughter bothered me the most: she had to sleep in the caves of PJAK, without a pillow or blanket. If she had not come back alive, I would not have forgiven myself. But fortunately she was able to save herself. Since my daughter’s spirits were no longer the same as they had been a month or two before she was abducted, Elahe has become a depressed and isolated girl, always scared.”

“So I was also afraid that they’d return for her again, so I sent her out of the village and she lived in a relative’s house for a few months in the city. I think I did the best thing, because exactly when I sent Elahe out of the village, they came to our house night after night and kept threatening me and my family, saying that you are government officials and spies! Your daughter should not have ran away and now you have to bring her back!”

“I am still afraid that they intend to kill me and my family! I have repeatedly protested to the local authorities in the village, saying why should these elements enter the village and even the people’s houses easily and be comfortable enough to receive meals in the people’s houses? What is this situation? My daughter was lucky and survived; People’s daughters are buried in caves and even their bodies do not reach their families here in Iran…”

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