According to the report presented in the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch Organization, last week (January 2024), a number of families of Iranian Kurdish children have left for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the city of Erbil to follow up and return their children.
Iranian Kurds are looking for their children in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and they believe that the armed groups that are present in the region under the control of the Kurdistan Region; They trick their children and take them under their control and use them as armed forces and soldiers; This is against human rights and international conventions. These families expect the local government in the Kurdistan Region and the Iranian government, and of course the armed groups; Immediately determine the fate of their children and provide the basis for their freedom.
the above phrase; That’s all that has happened in the last few days in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. For this reason, the Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch has issued an important statement as follows:
According to the report presented in the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch Organization, last week (January 2024), a number of families of Iranian Kurdish children and teenagers have left for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the city of Erbil to follow up and return their children. One of the honorary advisers of the Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch has also accompanied these families.
According to the investigation of the Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch, these Kurdish children and teenagers were lured to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq in immoral and deceptive ways through social networks – mostly Instagram – and under the false pretexts of work, immigration and education, and suddenly found themselves in the headquarters of a militia group called Kurdistan Freedom Party known as Pak.
This militia group has created a barracks life for its members, and its self-proclaimed leader, Hussein Yazdan Panah, has a strong interest in Stalin and also makes up his face like the former Soviet dictator. He has hired Iranian Kurdish children and teenagers in the Kurdistan region of Iraq by means of intimidation, threats, torture and rape. In fact, Iranian Kurdish children and teenagers are captives of this person and his armed group.
According to the acknowledgment of the former members of this group and the detailed research of the Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch, the restrictions that exist for the members of this group are almost unprecedented: The mental and psychological pressures and various tortures that the leaders of this group inflict on their young members are examples of crimes against humanity. Our findings show that the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government officials are aware of the details of what is happening in Pak camps, but no effective measures have been taken to stop these crimes. In other words, these crimes and the place where they were committed are in the area under the control of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq; But the regional government has been completely indifferent to its moral, political, legal and international duties and has not reacted to the captivity and torture of Iranian Kurdish nationals.
We believe that the presence of Iranian Kurdish families in January 2024 was a turning point that, despite many problems, can be considered as the beginning of stopping the process of war and violence, and we hope that dialogue and peace will prevail instead of war and conflict. We believe that the beginning of this process is the release of Iranian Kurdish children.
After years of follow-up by the Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch and demands from the Iranian government and Iranian diplomatic institutions in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, the Iranian government finally acknowledged its legal responsibility. And the officials of the Iranian consulate in Erbil had an effective cooperation in supporting the citizenship rights of Iranians trapped in the camps of the Pak group, and the officials of the Kurdistan region also cooperated in order to prosecute this militant group and finally, the petitions and complaints of these families were registered in the judicial system of the Kurdistan Region. Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch hopes to enable the return of these children to their families by using legal tools and legal capacities and popular and media demands.
We realized that the concern of many members of armed groups is the possibility of their punishment in Iran. This finding has also become our main concern after long professional work and interviews with former members of these groups. But now, after a long time of specialized work and demands from the government authorities in Iran and after serious negotiations with the officials of the Iranian consulate in Erbil, this concern of the members of the armed groups was raised with them. In Iran, the fear of heavy punishment is one of the serious obstacles to the separation of Iranian nationals from these militia groups.
But we firmly declare that the official and definitive policy of the Iranian government is to facilitate the return of children and adolescents and even adults who have entered this group and similar groups for any reason. The investigations of our experts and journalists and the acknowledgments of the former members of these groups also confirm that this policy has been ruling in the country for many years and the members of PAK, PJAK, KOMALA, Democrat Party of Kurdistan, etc., are not sentenced to prison in Iran and are free to live, study and work.
We reiterate to the official and diplomatic institutions of Iran: “Following the fate of Iranian nationals in the Kurdistan Region and diplomatic efforts, political, legal and media pressures are the main duties of the Iranian Consulate in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah. These institutions and Iranian authorities have the duty to seriously follow up on the protection of the citizenship rights of Iranians living in the region, and continuous information in this regard is very necessary.”
It is worth mentioning that although the judicial authorities of the region supported the families in the process of filing a complaint against Hussein Yazdan Panah and the PAK armed group, many of the promises made to the families have not been fulfilled. PAK militias tried to present an inverted narrative by recording forced confessions from two of the girls whose families had gone to Erbil to return them; This is while the period of forced confessions has ended and it is clear to everyone that the forced confessions of the girls who are members of this group have no legal value. The families of PAK members also believe that their children entered the PAK structure not by choice, but by deception, coercion and kidnapping and are forced to continue living in this group.
The main request of Iran Kurdistan Human Rights Watch, both in this trip and in all the recent years, is that for just one hour, these people from PAK camps, outside and under the supervision of the judicial system, should be left alone with their families and considering that a valid security letter has been received for all of them, let us give them the right to choose their place of living (staying in PAK or returning to Iran or leaving for any part of the world) without applying pressure and force of arms. However, as expected, this Stalinist and militia group refused to accept such a risk!
It was even suggested that the authorities of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, under the supervision of the UN representative for refugee affairs in Erbil, open the doors of these camps and allow children and teenagers and other Iranian citizens to choose where they will be without threats and intimidation from the leaders of PAK. But this suggestion was not taken into consideration.
In any case, the judicial case against PAK commanders and Hussein Yazdan Panah in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq has been opened and we have decided to make maximum use of all the legal capacities in Iran, the Kurdistan Region and Iraq and even international courts to relieve these families of worries. We believe that children should return home to their parents and using children as soldiers is the main crime of PAK and other similar groups. Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch has defined a mission for itself: a free and safe life for Iranian Kurdish children.