Family conflicts and pressure on women; the groundwork for joining Kurdish armed groups

Somayeh Moradi: as soon as my family realized where I went, they quickly pursued me.

According to IKHRW Somayeh Moradi, a former member of PAK and Democrat, is one of those who in an interview with the reporter has announced due to conflicts with her mother and communication via Telegram with members of the PAK group in April 2017, she joined this armed group.

 IKHRW reporter: What led you to decide to join PAK?

Response: Only family conflicts, especially with my mother. It seemed as if nobody wanted me and I was very depressed. I was always looking for a way to escape from home. Before entering PAK, sometimes I spent my leisure time on virtual networks. I was a member of a group called “Piranshahr Group” on Telegram. I got familiar with a girl that sent photos and videos from the group. All in the videos were joyful and dancing, with no sign of sorrow on their faces. These factors led me to make the decision to escape from home and become a member of the clean-up group exactly three days later.

IKHRW: What did you face when you arrived there?

Response: When I left Iran, I was brought to Kirkuk. There was a small base there, exclusively for women, and we were approximately 10 to 12 people. Only regular tasks and guard duties, along with several military and political training courses which I didn’t realize; but the classes were mandatory.

IKHRW reporter: Did the family succeed to meet you, during your presence in PAK?

Response: Yes; as soon as they realized where I went, they quickly pursued me. They came to meet me for five times and with great insistence. I have been threatened that if I utter a word about returning, I will jeopardize my own life and my family!

IKHRW reporter: How could you escape?

Response: Unfortunately, I escaped twice! The first time I escaped, I surrendered myself to Asayish thinking they would help me return to Iran, but sadly, at that very moment, they handed me back to PAK. A week later they organized a new operation and transferred many girls and women to another base. I seized the opportunity and escaped from the base. After two escape attempts, they could have killed me, which is why I was forced to accept membership in the Democrat Party for about 4 months. They let me return to Iran as I was so restless.

IKHRW reporter: What happened when you returned to Iran?

Response: Contrary to the claims made in the group, and despite the warnings of imprisonment and torture, I went straight home on the very first day I arrived in Iran, and no one bothered me. Three days later, they only contacted me and ordered me to go to the court. There, they asked me a few simple questions and I returned home after posting bail.

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