Free Iman Vakili

There are many families among Iranian Kurds who are unfortunately victims of the inhumane policy of using children in armed conflicts.

Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch has published many reports and conversations about the families of the victims and the problems they are dealing with and requested the Iranian government to pay due attention to the rights of Iranian Kurdish citizens.

Our follow-ups show that the number of these child victims increases every day, but no effective action is taken by the official and governing authorities in Iran and the Kurdistan Region to follow up and fulfill the rights of these victims. According to the reports that reached the Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch, the families of these children are in a strange state of confusion and indecision. On the other hand, despite the written request of these families and our correspondence, the Iranian government has not taken any effective measures in its consultations with the Kurdistan Regional Government. Militant parties based in the Kurdistan Region do not track and release these children, and the Kurdistan Region government does not make the slightest effort to free these children. Some people try to marginalize this issue of gross violation of human rights under the influence of the long-standing political challenges of these parties with the Iranian government, but what the Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch emphasizes is the immediate stop of child recruitment and in the conflict between these parties with The Iranian government has declared neutrality.

One of the several Iranian Kurdish families who have fallen victim to the inhumane policy of using children in the battlefields is the family of Iman Vakili from the city of Saqez in Kurdistan province, who at the age of 13 entered the camp of PAK militias known as (Kurdistan Freedom Party) in the city of Erbil. but so far he has not been able to return to his family.

Iman lived in an average family and was studying. His father says that Iman wanted him to buy a motorcycle for him, but because of his young age, his father refused to do so. There were the same conflicts between them until one day Iman said that he wants to go to his uncle Idris. There is no need to worry about him going to his uncle, but the part that made the family uncomfortable was that Idris had become a member of the PAK Party (Kurdistan Freedom Party) several years ago. Iman’s father says that it is not clear to us how these thoughts came to Iman’s mind! But what is clear is that it was not from Idris because he loved his nephew very much and Iman was definitely deceived by people who are on a mission to attract children. Iman’s fathers continued; Iman did not return home after he went out to play, the family searched everywhere for him but there was no news of him. Immediately, one of the neighbors stated that a white Peugeot car with 4 other passengers took Iman into the car and took them with them, so immediately his parents and some other people went to the border and luckily they were able to reach Iman. It was there that with his mother’s pleas, Iman repented and agreed to return home. A few months passed and it was almost 2018, the family also thought that he had forgotten about this matter until one day when he was supposed to go to school, he did not return home. The family was only suspicious of those people and they knew it was them, so they called everywhere they could and tried to get their child back, but this time it was unsuccessful because it had been a long time since Iman left. Almost a year passed since this case and Iman’s family went to Iraq two more times during that year and finally they were able to have a meeting with him at the PAK party headquarters in Erbil city. Of course, they could not talk very easily because there were several armed people as guards by their side. But as much as possible, Iman made his point that he was threatened. The first time they sent him back home after a few months, they called him and threatened Iman that they would kill his family because he had promised to go there but had not fulfilled his promise. That thirteen-year-old child agrees to their request for fear that something will happen to his family. We have emphasized many times before that family problems among Iranian Kurdish families are one of the factors and sources of the recruitment of militia groups among their children.

The members of this militant party often go to Iranian Kurdish children, teenagers and young men, boys and girls, in order to provide the manpower they want. They generally approach these children through the virtual space first and after realizing their economic, social and… problems, they promise their victims such as a better life, peace, freedom, more income, education and life in Europe. They lead them to their military barracks located in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

Of course, non-governmental organizations have no option other than providing information and legal advice, so we hope that elites and human rights activists will pay serious attention to this issue, because these children have been forgotten in the political uproar of the games.

*The picture is decorative.

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