José Manuel Barroso, President The European Commission Headquarters 200 Wetstraat / Rue de la Loi 1000 Brussels, Belgium
December 2, 2009
Honorable President Barroso:
In 1979, when Shah’s despotic regime was superseded by Khomeini’s tyrannical theocratic regime and the establishment of the Shiite sectarian government, strict religious measures were imposed upon all Iranians; particularly the non-Persian ethnicities. Among these ethnicities, the Kurds have been the target of the most unprecedented atrocities.
In the last 30 years, the Iranian authorities have used a systematic program of abuse against the Kurds. In 1989, they used negotiation ploys to murder the Secretary General of Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI), Dr. Abdurrahman Qasmlu along with two of his companions in Vienna. This stratagem of assassination was repeated in 1992 in Berlin when Qasmlu’s successor, Dr. Sadeq Sharafkandi and several of the KDPI members were murdered. In the 1990s, hundreds Kurdish human rights activists who had fled from Iran and sought refuge in Kurdistan-Iraq were slain by Iranian agents.
To justify their intolerance against the Kurds, the Iranian officials have been using sobriquet such as “anti-Islam” or “endangering the national security” to liquidate them. Their “Jihad” on the Kurdish villages, Qarna and Qalatan, in the early 1980s, did not even spare pregnant women, and children sleeping in their cradles.
The sectarian state has also suppressed activities of Kurdish women’s organizations that have been peaceably advocating for human rights in Kurdistan-Iran. Kurdish female activists currently are imprisoned in Iran for promoting Kurdish women’s social status.
In recent years, the Iranian regime has intensified its brutality against the Kurds by executing the Kurdish prisoners without giving them a fair trial. A few weeks ago, the Iranian government executed Mr. Ehsan Fatahian, who was a Kurdish freedom activist. Initially, Mr. Fatahian was given 10 years, later his sentence was changed and on November 11, 2009, he was hanged. More than a dozen Kurdish political activists are on death row. They are awaiting their deaths and might be executed in the near future.
According to the Amnesty International Report 2009, “at least 346 people were executed, including at least eight juvenile offenders sentenced for crimes committed when they were under 18…at least 133 juvenile offenders faced execution in contravention of international law.” Today, Iran is second after China in the world for having a high execution rate. It is the only country in the world that still executes children and child offenders.
The Kurds’ plight in Iran and other countries is a direct result of Western policies. Kurdistan could not have been divided among Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey without the Western colonial plan. After the division of Kurdistan, the Kurds have been left at the mercy of these racist governments without safeguarding their most basic human rights.
Therefore, it is justifiable to say that Europe has a moral responsibility to review its policy toward the Kurds and protect their cultural and political identity within each of the respective nations, particularly in Iran where Kurdish civil advocates and freedom activists are sentenced to death without any valid charges against them. It is inconceivable to imagine that at the dawn of the 21st century, the world powers continue to give consent to the plight of more than 40 million Kurds to live in forced assimilation, and regard the cruel treatments of the Kurds by the central governments as internal matters of these countries.
We urge you Mr. President, to get involved and insist that the Iranian authorities stop their repressive policies against the Kurdish people in Iran and respect their political- cultural rights, and free all political prisoners. The Kurds in Iran have endured so much pain and misery for centuries. They deserve more of active European political support to make sure that their rights are protected.