The story of the membership of Mehdi Khasi in the Kurdistan Liberation Armed Group (PAK)

The political and social situation of Iranian Kurdistan and its influence on the decisions of young people: “Case study of Mehdi Khasi.”


In this report, the political and social situation of Iranian Kurdistan and membership of Mahdi Khasi in the Kurdistan Liberation Armed Group is studied. This report is based on an interview with Mehdi’s father, who recently spoke with us.

As a parent whose son was caught in this armed group, Mehdi’s father offers an important experience and point of view in dealing with the issues that led his son to the Kurdistan Liberation Armed Group. His son is the main subject of this report who joined the group at seventeen.

The interview with Mehdi’s father shows that his son’s membership in PAK was caused by some problems and social and political pressures. He states that Mehdi was going to migrate to Europe to escape his problems and fulfill his dreams, but was inadvertently sold to an armed group by smugglers for money.  Mehdi’s father has tried his best to get his son back, but he has not succeeded. He has asked the Iranian government and human rights institutions for help, but to no avail.

The interview of the Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch reporter with Mehdi Khasi’s father:

 IKHRW- You recently traveled to the Kurdistan Region and were following up on your child’s condition. Tell us a little about what happened when your child became a member of this group:

Mehdi’s father – My son and I had a series of problems with each other, although it was mostly because Mehdi was young and it made him want to go to Europe so he decided to cross the border with some smugglers and go to Turkey and from there he can get asylum in Europe. But those who took money from him as smugglers and were supposed to take him to Turkey, took him to Iraq and handed him over to the PAK group for money.  That is, my son did not know this group at all, and those villains had sold my son to it.

IKHRW- What did you do to get your child back?

Mehdi’s father – As soon as I found out where Mehdi is, I immediately went to Iraq to bring him back, but they didn’t even allow me to meet my son. I decided to go to human rights organizations and file my complaint there, but unfortunately, I did not get any results.

IKHRW- How old was your child when he joined and why didn’t you take care to prevent this terrible?

Mehdi’s father – he was almost 17 years old, as I said, Mehdi was very young and proud and these caused some problems, but I never thought we would get to this point.

IKHRW- Did you get help from government and legal centers in Iran to return your child and what kind of help did they provide?

Mehdi’s father – To be honest, I went to every place I could in Iran, but they didn’t help me much, they could only give me advice on how to reach my son, but that hasn’t helped yet.

IKHRW– Have you personally visited the office of the Pak Group and the officials of the Kurdistan Regional Government? What did you get?

Mehdi’s father – I tried to take the legal procedure from the very beginning, that’s why I first went to the Iranian consulate in Erbil and then presented my petition there. After that, I complained to the police and welfare department, I even went to one of Iraq’s human rights centers. After these things, I went to PAK headquarters and they decided to discuss with my son and bring him back. They told me that it will take some time to announce, but later they informed me that your son himself does not intend to return. I knew they were lying. A few months later, I went to Iraq again and with great difficulty I could meet my son, but there I found out that they had not even asked Mahdi.

IKHRW – Why should be a place in the world that imprisons and oppresses children and teenagers like this?

Mehdi’s father – Unfortunately, in Kurdish regions, because of many unresolved issues and deprivation of resources, these groups use their false propaganda to make our teenagers and young people be deceived by their empty promises and get caught.

IKHRW – Some videos have been published of some of these children who say that they are satisfied with where they are, it seems that they are reciting from a fixed text, could this be an example of forced confession? What is your opinion? Do your children really like to be in these groups?

Mehdi’s father – Don’t doubt that all these pictures and videos are fake, not only me, but every family that I saw and they also talked to their children, they all intend to return. I am sure all those children were dictated behind the camera and they say these things out of fear of being imprisoned and tortured.

IKHRW- Can you explain about your group trip to Kurdistan region, what did you do and what were the results? Were the follow-ups of the Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch fruitful and do you have any hope of achieving results?

Mehdi’s father – the human rights watch of Iranian Kurdistan really helped us a lot, from helping for gathering to accompanying to refer to judicial bodies and filing complaints. The presence of IKHRW allowed us to file our complaint with the Kurdistan Region’s judicial system, where immediately ordered that all these children be brought to court by this group.  But unfortunately, this order was canceled after one day, although it was not unlikely where the Barzani family is.

IKHRW- We found that both your children and you were threatened during your trip. Can you explain it?

Mehdi’s father – after our gathering in front of the UN office, some soldiers of that group attacked us and started filming and constantly threatening us.

We and our children both, got into a fight, but it didn’t last long. Of course, they threatened us enough in the short time they were there, and because of this, until the last day, a number of people from the climate comfort took care of our accommodation.


IKHRW- What was the reaction of the Iraqi Kurdistan regional authorities? Did they help you reach your children? Mehdi’s father – As I said, after the judge’s order, it was decided that

our children would appear in court, but one day later, that none of us know what happened, the judge’s order was  suddenly canceled and we had no news of our children.

IKHRW – Did the officials of the Iranian consulate in Erbil help you and your children?

Mehdi’s father – To be honest, we did not receive that much help from the Iranian consulate, of course we did whatever they told us, from filing a complaint to further follow-up, but unfortunately, there is no news at the moment.

IKHRW – If you want to give a message to the PAK leaders, especially Hossein Yazdan Panah, what would you say to them?

Mehdi’s father – I say my son was under the legal age, he was still under 18 years old, how could you deceive him? As a father, I wanted my child to study, achieve good academic grades, and have a comfortable life, but you didn’t let it, you are giving our children a gun bigger than themselves.

I myself have a complaint not only against the PAK group, but also against each and every leader of this group, and I also registered my complaint.


Iranian Kurdistan is one of the regions that has not yet fully resolved some of its social and political issues.  These issues lead the youth to armed groups and illegal activities. Also, economic problems, social pressures, and insecurity in the regions where Iranian Kurdistan is located are some of the factors that lead young people to join armed groups. The inability of the government and legal institutions to follow up and solve the problems of people like Mehdi makes families look for other solutions to solve their problems. The political and social situation of Iranian Kurdistan is still facing great challenges that must be seriously investigated.

Previous «
Next »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *