Urgent / IKHRW Statement on Violation of Citizenship Rights of Kurdish Villagers in Urmia

Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch (IKHRW) issued a statement regarding the violation of the rights of the residents of Arbilan village in Urmia. The statement addressed the representatives of West Azerbaijan Province in the Iranian Parliament, the Police Command and Prosecutor of West Azerbaijan Province, the Vice President for Legal Affairs and institutions related to civil rights and human rights, as well as Turkish and human rights-related departments in the Iranian Presidency and Ministry of Affairs.

Introducing its records in the field of monitoring human rights violations in the Kurdish regions of Iran by armed groups in this statement, the IKHRW addressed the above-mentioned institutions and officials while stressing the IKHRW considers itself merit of protecting the rights of the Kurdish people and expects them to be sensitive and persistent about the Kurdish citizenship rights of Iran. The IKHRW, established by concerned lawyers in the field, has received reports of human rights abuses in the village of Erbilan in Urmia, and wrote in the statement:

“In recent months, and especially in the summer of 1399, several reports have been submitted to the IKHRW showing that citizens of villages in northwestern Iran in the province of West Azerbaijan, on Irano-Turkish border, have been extorted, threatened and harassed by militants the separatist and terrorist groups of the PKK and its Iranian branch, PJAK. These Iranians have repeatedly complained about the abduction of their children by PJAK and their transfer to northern Iraq to fight Turkey. Numerous cases such as kidnapping, murder and extortion of Iranian Kurdish citizens and in general, violation of public security and their citizenship rights have been reported many times in the border areas of our country by Kurdish armed and terrorist groups, which unfortunately, as needed, have not been paid attention.

In the latest case, the village of Arbilan, one of the villages in the Targor district of Urmia, has fallen victim. The village, with 40 households and a population of 120 people, has recently fallen victim to the presence of PKK militants, who have robbed, beaten and threatened residents, destroying their security and looting their property. Surveys by IKHRW as well as reports by residents indicate that these armed men belong to the PKK. Therefore, the IKHRW calls on the provincial and national authorities to urgently address the deprivation of security and the violation of the civil rights of these Kurdish people. The PKK issue in Turkey, as a crisis of more than four decades and with the aim of civil war and separatism, has nothing to do with Iran that the Iranian Kurds also fall victim to. We would like to inform you that PJAK is the Iranian branch of the PKK and operates under its supervision. It is also necessary to pay attention to reports about the connection of some hidden factors in the Turkish government with the PKK and PJAK who wish to the overflow the insecurity and terror to the borders of Iran. In any case, the Turkish government’s war against the PKK has nothing to do with the Kurds in Iran, and the Iranian government needs to resolutely defend the rights of the Kurds as Iranian citizens, and in this regard there should be no discriminates between citizens of the central provinces and people living in border areas.

Therefore, we, as a human rights organization intending to be the voice of the Kurdish people, especially in the border areas, urge you to vigorously defend the civil rights of the Kurdish people and prevent the looting of property and their children in the border areas by terrorists whom Turkey enters Iran.

Executive Council of the Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch – 10 October 2020

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