Iranian Kurdistan Representatives Speak at Meeting of the EP Delegation for relations with Iran
On 10 June 2015, two representatives of the Komaleh Party of Iranian Kurdistan took part in a meeting of the European Parliament delegation for relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran (D-IR) in Strasbourg. The invitation followed a round of advocacy meetings organizedand Members of the European Parliament and other EU officials.
On 10 June 2015, two representatives of the Komaleh Party of Iranian Kurdistan took part in a meeting of the European Parliament delegation for relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran (D-IR) in Strasbourg. The invitation followed a round of advocacy meetings organized in May 2015 by UNPO between representatives of the party and of the International Network of Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights (INIKHR) and Members of the European Parliament and other EU officials.
The D-IR meeting in Strasbourg, to which also members of the Baha’i community participated, focused on the situation of minorities in Iran. Mr Peshko Khosravi, one of the two delegates, delivered a speech on behalf of both the Komaleh Party and the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI), with which UNPO has been working for several years. The opportunity was taken to provide the members of the delegation with an overview of the situation of the Kurds, victims for the last 36 years of the Iranian State’s fierce oppression.
Tehran’s systematic efforts to supress Kurdish identity have resulted in political executions, imprisonments, intentional economical backwardness and the exclusion of the majority of the Kurdish population from education as well as social life opportunities. Political deprivation, as explained by Mr Khosravi, not only has resulted in the legal banning of the main political parties in Iran’s Kurdistan and their labelling as combatants (Mohareb), but has also prevented them from participating in the decision makings at all levels of the Iranian State. There are approximately 400 Kurdish political prisoners currently in jail, 70 of which are on death row.
Mr Khosravi highlighted that due to discriminatory State policies, the development of the Kurdish community, whose economic infrastructure is based on agriculture, has been severely constrained. As a result, the average income in Kurdistan province is half of the rest of the country and the level of unemployment, in turn, has reached 28%. In light of the precarious opportunities, a noteworthy section of the youths and employment seekers in Kurdistan, with a large number of them being highly educated, are moving to industrial centres of the country as well as migrating to neighbouring Iraqi Kurdistan.
Mr Khosravi emphasized how notwithstanding all these problems, the Kurds in Iran have always relied on the peaceful political and civil campaign and have never resorted to violence, terrorism, extremism or fundamentalism in their movement to fight for their rights. For their commitement to a political and democratic change for Iran, they appeal to the European Union to take a firm stand and put pressure on Iranian state and officials against the oppression and suppression in Iran’s Kurdistan.
UNPO wishes to thank Mr Janusz Lewandowski MEP, Chair of the D-IR, for inviting these representatives to join the meeting and to offer them the opportunity to speak about the situation of their community. In light of the recent press releaseForeign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (AFET) issued following its official visit to Iran on 6-7 June 2015, which highlights the prospects for increased economic ties following a nuclear deal, UNPO wishes to renew its hopes that the human rights issues will not be forgotten during negotiations with Iran. As the press release states that these are “first steps in a new era of cooperation and renewed parliamentary dialogue between Iran and the EU”, hopefully crucial issues such as the human rights of ethnic minorities in Iran will be given the attention it deserves, as much as opportunities for trade, investments and energy resources.