As the Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch (IKHRW) reports, the evidence, documented record and statistics prove, the armed and terrorist groups active in the name of the Kurdish people have done much against these people than others. Conflict, assassination, extortion and child recruitment as soldiers have been committed by these Kurdish groups pretending to defend the Kurdish rights. As the Iranian branch of the PKK, the PJAK terrorist group, has a long history of kidnapping and deceiving Iranian children, having them killed against Turkish army; the IKHRW has repeatedly published reports on the crimes committed by the group.
As the news received by the IKHRW prove, the PJAK has found a new partner, who has repeatedly admitted to commit terrorist acts against the Iranian Kurds. The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), known also as HADAK, accused of terrorist acts against Iranian Kurds and helping Saddam Hussein and the Ba’athist regime, remaining silent on the Halabja crime, has abducted and recruited Iranian Kurdish children to compensate its lack of armed men.
The first case in the collection of Iranian children and adolescents victims is Zahra Esmaeeli, the daughter of Rasool, born in 2004 in Silvana, Urmiye, Iran. According to a report for the IKHRW, Zahra Esmaeeli was deceived and abducted by HADAK’s armed expedition team.
In an interview with Zahra Esmaeeli’s father, the IKHRW gained new information. Her father emphasized that Zahra was abducted from Iran in 2020 and transferred to Kuyeh, Sulaimaniyah province, Iraq, where, like dozens of other children under Khalid Azizi’s organization, is trained how to use weapons, to commit violence and war.
It is worth noting this is not the first time these armed groups easily abduct the minors and recruit them for terrorist aims. PJAK and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP known also as HADAK) have recruited children in Iranian Kurdistan and, following military training including terror and violence, they send the same children to the areas where they were born for extorting the local people. As they know the language, behavior and geography of their region, so they commit extortion and assassination more easily. However, the leaders of these groups are based in Europe and in return, they have endangered the lives of their members, who live in the mountains lacking the least facilities.
“I am a worker and I have three children,” Zahra’s father told our reporter. Zahra was my eldest child, who is currently captive. My other two sons are eight and two years old. I was born in 1980 and I have tried not to let my children face problems in life during this period. We moved to Urmiye for Zahra’s education. She was always a top student. Nobody in our family likes these armed groups. But an armed group has kidnapped our child. I have been very sad all this time. I still do not understand why these children should be recruited for terrorist aims while their families are destroyed.”
We asked Mr. Esmaeeli if he has pursued to free his daughter. “I borrowed money from my friends to see if I can find my daughter,” he added. “I saw her in Kuyeh; but my daughter could not return with me, as she was threatened. At first, HADAK members denied her presence and the told me she was under training. Following my insistence and crying, they let me meet my daughter. She sat down in front of me, while telling me she had been intimidated. She added she was satisfied and would not return home. I’m worried about my daughter’s status. Hundreds of young girls along with hundreds of men live in camps without any communication to each other. I came back disappointed and I am totally hopeless. My only daughter is lost and I can not do anything for her. I have even forgotten my children and I can no longer work. Which Kurd would allow his child to be in the hands of armed groups? “Who will answer Zahra’s mother who cries in tears?”
The IKHRW reporter also talked to Zahra’s mother. She said her was under age and added she would do her best to see Zahra again. She wondered how Zahra was recruited by an armed and violent group. I feel bored and depressed. We moved from village to Urmiye city for Zahra’s school. They destroyed the future of Zahra and our family. We can no longer follow the story. We ask the government to help us.”
As its agenda, the IKHRW pursues the fate of the children abducted by PJAK and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (HADAK) while hoping that the Iranian government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will fulfill their legal duties.