This article originally appeared in Kurdistan 24.
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – In the past six months, Iran has hanged over 40 Iranian Kurds and sentenced just under a dozen other activists to death, according to a group reporting on human rights violations in the country listed as responsible for “more than half of all recorded executions in 2017.”
“The death sentences of 44 Kurdish citizens have been implemented in nine prisons” in the country, most of which were in “Urmia, Kermanshah [Kermanshan], and Karaj,” read a statement by the human rights organization Hengaw.
The rights group also added that 11 other political activists had been put on death row.
Recent cases that garnered international attention were that of Ramin Hussein Panahi and two cousins Loghman and Zaniar Moradi who were executed on Sep. 08.
On the same day that all three were put to death, Iran carried out a cross-border missile attack on the headquarters of two Iranian Kurdish (Rojhilati) parties opposing the Islamic Regime in the Kurdistan Region’s town of Koya, reportedly killing 15 people and injuring 42 others.
The two incidents inspired an organized general strike of shopkeepers and business-owners in the four Rojhilati provinces of Iran. On Sep. 12, the streets of Kurdish cities were deserted as locals attempted to show their solidarity with the families of the victims and their opposition to the regime’s actions.
“People in Kurdistan will stage a peaceful general strike to show the brutal Islamist regime in Iran that we will not accept more military attacks against our political parties and executions of our political activists,” said Loghman H. Ahmedi, a senior member of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) leadership, to Kurdistan 24 during the strike.
According to Amnesty International, among the 23 countries that carried out death sentences in 2017, “Iran executed at least 507 people.” At least 31 of those executions were public and at least five of those executed were under 18 years old.
Editing by John J. Catherine
This article was originally published in Kurdistan 24.