Dec 13, 2017

Iranian Kurdistan: Solidarity for the Independence Referendum Harshly Sentenced

Photo courtesy of CNN

The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemned the Kurdish referendum for independence in Iraq, fearing the destabilisation of the region and irredentist claims from Kurdish nationalists. Accusing the referendum to be unconstitutional, the Iranian authorities repress any sign of support for the Kurdish independence and recently sentenced innocents for showing their support. This Tuesday [12 December 2017], Zamaneh Zivia, a law student, was condemned to 50 lashes and fined for her open solidarity to her Kurdish sisters and brothers. Additionally, some of other demonstrators were hanged, tortured and illegally arrested at their homes. This again evidences the blatant and increasing disregard for human rights throughout Hassan Rouhani’s two mandates.

This article was published by Rudaw:

A Kurdish woman in Iran has been sentenced to receive 50 lashes for participating in street celebrations for the Kurdistan Region independence referendum. 

Zamaneh Zivia was sentenced to 50 lashes and fined 1.8 million tomans (about $500) for “disrupting public order,” the France-based Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) reported on Tuesday. 

Zivia is in her final year of law at Payam-e-Noor University of Saqez. She was arrested at her home on November 6 on charges of “attempts against national security, participation in illegal gatherings and disturbing public order,” the rights monitor reported, citing an informed source. 

Her lawyer has appealed the verdict. 

Thousands of Kurds in Iran took the streets in rare demonstrations, expressing solidarity with their fellow Kurds voting for independence across the border. Scores were arrested.

Among those arrested were young men charged with disrupting public order after playing loud music in their vehicles. 

Farhad Hadi, journalist and editor of Dangi Kurdistan Weekly, was held for two days after the publication of the October 5 edition of his paper that focused on Kurdistan independence. He was interrogated about the content of his paper, KHRN reported. 

On their release, some of those arrested stated they had been tortured. 

Iran opposed the Kurdistan referendum, deeming it unconstitutional. 

Kurds represent almost half of all political prisoners in Iran, according to the United Nations.