The Iranian government has arrested at least 26 Kurdish citizens and activists from Kurdish cities or areas with a large Kurdish population in the past week.
These people were arrested without warrants across Bukan, Mahabad, Marivan, Rabat, Sarvabad, and Sardasht, and are now detained in intelligence institutions. Some of those arrested by intelligence agents were beaten, while their homes were raided and their belongings seized.
Let’s look at it in more detail.
Arbitrary Arrests in Kurdish Region
Arrests in Bukan County, West Azarbaijan Province
On January 9, intelligence officers affiliated with the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) ransacked Azimeh Nasseri’s home. They arrested her without any previous notice.
Arrests in Marivan County, Kurdistan Province
The Marivan Department of Intelligence summoned Jabbar Pirouzi, Salman Adavi, Sirvan Karim, and Zanyar Motamed to their offices, detaining all four and beating Motamed violently during the arrest.
While Dana Samadizadeh, Karou Alidad, and Karvan Minoui were also arrested and interrogated, but released after several hours, following signing written pledges.
Arrests in Mahabad County, West Azarbaijan Province
The intelligence services here arrested:
- Afshin Mam Ahmadi
- Darya Talebani
- Iman Abdi
- Salar Rahavi
- Shapour Kazarpour
- Sirvan Nouri
- Suran Hosseinzadeh
Arrests in Sardasht County, West Azarbaijan Province
Here, intelligence agents arrested three people from Rabat City near Sardasht on January 9. They are Bahman Yousefzadeh, a Payam Nour University student whose home was ransacked and personal effects were taken, and Farhad and Fereydoun Mousapour.
Arrests in Sarvabad County, Kurdistan Province
Kurdish citizens Akram Advaii and Siamak Advaii were arrested in Sarvabad county by intelligence agents, but no information is available on the charges or their fate.
Education Ban for Baha’i Citizens
In a related story of discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities, a Baha’i citizen has been stopped from completing the university admission process because of her faith and is unable to continue higher education.
Mahsa Foruhari has tried for ten years to enter a university, after passing the national admission exam, but has been stopped every time. This year, she even applied to universities that don’t look at that test but base their acceptance on overall educational records, and still, her enrolment was denied. When she logged into the admission website, an error message said her files were “incomplete.”
The Iranian government systematically violates the rights of the 300,000 Baha’is in the country, including denying them entrance to higher education and government jobs, because they don’t recognize the faith or permit it to be practiced publicly.
This has been the case since 1979, even though Iran has signed up to the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which require the government to make higher education accessible to everyone equally and guarantees the Iranian people’s right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.