COVID-19 in Iranian Kurdistan: PDKI Releases Letter Calling for Effective Support to the Most Affected Provinces
In light of the outbreak of the COVID-19 in Iran, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) has released a letter calling upon the Iranian regime to stop systematically ignoring health and lives of Kurdish people. Although the outbreak has impacted the country as a whole, the four provinces of Ilam, Kermanshah, Kurdistan and West Azerbaijan have been particularly affected by the the lack of transparency, corruption, and incompetence of the Iranian authorities. The situation is further worsened by the lack of access to reliable information on the crisis, which has led the PDKI to set up a crisis committee.
Below is a letter published by the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI)
Dear colleagues in the international community,
Please accept our warmest regards. As you are well aware of the situation, unfortunately the outbreak of the COVID-19 in Iran has large geographical scope and has deeply affected all areas of the country. In the face of this global crisis, the lack of transparency, corruption, and incompetence of the Iranian authorities adds significantly to the threats of this virus facing Iranian society and beyond. In order to increase our endeavors in this regard, and to help the circulation of information in the Iran and Iranian Kurdistan, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) has set up a crisis committee.
At this moment, we believe one of the main challenges is that Iranian citizens, especially in Kurdistan, do not have access to any reliable source of data and information pertaining the matter at hand. The Iranian people has lost their trust in the Iranian Radio and TV that has been acting as a propaganda apparatus for the regime and due to its mismanagement in the past 41 years that has reached a new peak in the past few months. In this situation people are relying on various sources that lack the knowledge and in some cases are scams with fraudulent plans for financial gains. Our committee believes that Kurds in Iran, who predominantly live in four intentionally underdeveloped provinces in western Iran, are in a more life-threatening situation due to the facts enumerated bellow;
First, based on official figures revealed by the ministry of health there exists 1.5 beds in hospitals for every one thousands persons in these four provinces. The hospitals also declared they are unable to provide necessary equipment to protect their own medical staff.
Second, the authorities of hospitals in Iranian Kurdistan have recently held numerous fundraising meetings in all parts of Iranian Kurdistan and revealed that the government in Tehran does not provide budget for the hospitals in Kurdish populated areas of Iran.
Third, the government is refraining from taking required measures to stop spreading of the virus into cities, towns, and even villages of Iranian Kurdistan by completely ignoring these areas. The citizens in Iranian Kurdistan are trying to stay in their homes in order to protect themselves. However, due to the dire economic situation in these areas, they will not be able to continue this for a safe time.
Fourth, in the Kurdish town of Sardasht in the West Azarbaijan province, there live more than 8000 people who have been exposed to chemical warfare during Iran-Iraq war and are struggling with subsequent respiratory problems. Fifth, the poverty in the Iranian Kurdistan is more than 60 percent of the society. If the government continues ignoring these areas and does not provide enough food, we believe the possibility of extreme scarcity of food and hunger in Iranian Kurdistan is high. Our committee continues to closely monitor the situation in Kurdistan.
We assure you that the lives of many of people in Iranian Kurdistan are in danger. Our humble request is to take the situation in Iranian Kurdistan into the consideration and call upon the Iranian regime to stop systematically ignoring health and lives of Kurdish people in Iran. We believe the intentional behavior of the Iranian regime in four provinces of Ilam, Kermanshah, Kurdistan, and West Azerbaijan is leading to exacerbate a humanitarian crisis already started by COVID-19 in these areas.
Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI)
Foreign Relations Office