Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch, after following the fate of Setareh Zadhesh for several years, found out that she managed to escape from PJAK.
Setareh Zadhesh’s escape from PJAK in an interview with IKHRW reporter and the story that lasted seven years among PJAK militias:
The star told her story like this: I was almost 16 years old when I got married at the insistence of my family, I had just finished the third grade of middle school and I was at my husband’s house until I came to my senses. But what a husband! I didn’t even have a good day, nothing could be done and I had to live. Almost a year has passed since my daughter was born, I felt that my life would be better with the arrival of my daughter, but it was just a dream. After my daughter was born, the problems with my husband and his family increased. I couldn’t bear to live anymore and I even decided to commit suicide several times, but I couldn’t do it.
At that time, PJAK members used to come and go inside our village and sometimes I saw them. They made themselves closer to me, every time they told me that I could live a better life with them, I was completely disappointed with life in the village and for me, who was about to commit suicide at that time, it was the best option.
I was accompanied by PJAK members and they took me to Iraq, the training course started immediately. In the first days, I regretted the decision I made, what I saw was not at all like what those people said, not even the comfortable life they promised, but the life was much harder than the life I had. I told the members of PJAK that I can’t live here and I intend to return, but I faced their opposition. They threatened me several times and even said that my father said that he would kill me if he saw me. Of course, I later found out that none of these words were true. It was for scaring me.
I couldn’t do anything, I didn’t even know where I could run away, I inevitably decided to live there; Life there was no less than hell for me. I endured hardships that I could never even think about in the past, let alone want to live like that. My time there was completely brainwashed, to the point where I felt guilty and a traitor even thinking about my family. I was taught that family has no meaning anymore and that the best life is in the same mountain.
Almost a year passed and I found out that my younger brother Himan has also joined. It was there that I came to my senses and realized what I had done to my family, but it was over.
They only allowed us to meet for one day and it was there that Himan said he came after me to save me, but they didn’t let us talk for more than an hour and immediately transferred him to another place. From that day on, my mind was messed up, I didn’t think about myself anymore and I just wanted to save my little brother, but there was no news of him anymore and they didn’t let us see each other in any way.
A few years passed after this separation, and a few months before I could escape, I happened to see my brother, although it was only Himan in appearance, when I talked to him, he was no longer that simple-hearted and kind brother! What did they do to that child?!
He was so brainwashed that he no longer accepted me as his sister. The same brother who came to save me no longer thought about me and my family under the influence of brainwashing. But I could not leave and forget my brother. I told him that we should escape together at the right time and save ourselves. Himan, who was influenced by them, informed the members of PJAK of my decision, and they immediately imprisoned me. Is it possible that my little brother, who came to save his sister, has changed like this?! The whole world had collapsed on me, I hated myself, I had thrown my little brother into the well with my own hand.
I spent 45 days in prison.
All that time, every three days, two members of PJAK came to the prison and tried to make me repent. They used every possible method, from character destruction to death threats. They told me that if I run away, my brother and father will kill me because of this betrayal! Of course, I didn’t believe them anymore and I knew very well that all those words were lies. As soon as I was released from prison after a few days, I was determined to escape from there, when the right opportunity presented itself, I escaped from there and reached one of the villages, where I was able to contact my family, who were all waiting for me. After my call, my brother, who PJAK members claimed threatened to kill me, followed me immediately, and after a few days I was able to return to our village. I am very happy to be back in the arms of my family, but all the time I am thinking about my little brother, I don’t know what to do, I just hope that he can save himself one day and this torment of my conscience will end.
*The photo belongs to Himan Zadhesh.