Kurdish people have been tirelessly fighting against the Islamic Regime for the past 30 years. They have been killed in highest numbers alongside many other minorities in Iran. As a result Iranian Kurdistan is heavily armed by Revolutionary Guards and Kurds are harassed and abused on a regular basis. Kurdish activists, teachers, writers and students are arrested and subjected to torture in order to force them to confess to crimes they have not committed. Currently there are many Kurdish students and activists who are serving heavy prison sentences. There are also at least 12 Kurdish activists who are currently facing execution due to their political activities. It must be noted that all of these individuals were subjected to torture and were sentenced to death after sham trials behind closed doors, in most cases without the presence of their lawyers. Most recently a Kurdish activist Ehsan Fatahiyan was executed despite great national and international pressure to stop the execution.
Since the execution of Ehsan Fatahiyan, the discussion about “Separatism” has unfortunately taken a forefront on social sites such as Facebook as well as numerous websites and blogs.
According to Mr. Fatahiyan’s last letter from prison which was released shortly before his execution he belonged to the Komale Party, which is active in Kurdistan of Iran and is considered a “separatist party” by some activists and political party’s. The Komale Party in Iran is an armed organization that fights against the Islamic Regime.
For the many years that I have been involved in the fight against the Islamic Regime, I have unfortunately witnessed some discrimination against Kurds and Kurdish activists by non Kurdish activists and/or political party’s. The major reason for this is that Kurdish activists are generally seen as separatists and therefore generally excluded and ignored by other “Nationalist” Regime opponents. The same thing is true for other minorities such as Azaris’, Baluch and Arab minorities who are also seen as “separatists” by some.
In my opinion some of this is due to the Islamic Regime’s propaganda which goes out of its way to take advantage of the strong Nationalism which exists in Iran, to try to create a rift and division between various ethnic minorities. Another part of the problem has to do with ourselves and our own inability to accept others with different opinions or political ideologies. Speaking about democracy is important but we must also be looking for practical and realistic solutions to implement the democracy we are advocating.
The reality is that Iran is made up of numerous ethnic minorities and there is nothing wrong with their demands to be able to speak their own language, to have social and economic prosperity and to govern themselves within a federalist system. This is not and should not be considered as separatism.
Having said that, there is no doubt that there are some individuals and groups in Kurdistan of Iran who want and advocate for total separation from Iran. I have seen at least one Kurdish organization issue an extremely racist statement after Ehsan Fatahiyan’s death, urging Kurds all over the world to defend their own rights and arguing that non-Kurds are do not care about Kurds, which is totally fabricated as could be seen through both the national and international campaign and support to save Ehsan Fatahiyan’s life.
There is nothing constructive about such statements, as it does nothing but to create anger and hate between different groups and ethnicities. I condemn both extremes, and I hope for a time when we can put these differences aside and look at issues in Iran practically and realistically. Spreading hate against each other will not bring us any closer to our goal for a free and democratic Iran.
Lastly I have been very disturbed to see comments like “death to separatist” written on Facebook under Ehsan Fatahiyans pictures. These comments were made because Mr. Fatahiyan was a member of the Komale Party, and as an Iranian who is not Kurdish I find these slogans extremely offensive.
Second Mr. Fatahiyan was arrested, “tried” in a sham trial and executed in a dictatorship state, where people are forced to confess to things they may not have done under torture, where “trials” usually last 10 minutes or less, behind closed doors, without a jury and usually in the absence of a defence lawyer and sometimes even the accused. Under such circumstance nobody should be judged, labelled or be found guilty of an offence, especially something as serious as separatism.
Perhaps if Iran was a democracy and Mr. Fatahiyan had taken up arms against the state and this was proven in open court in a fair trial then he could have been labelled as a separatist, but an individual who decides to fight against the Islamic Regime and risks his life doing so, deserves respect regardless of his political views. Let’s also remember that for people inside Iran who are against the entire Regime, who do not want to support sham reforms there are not a lot of options, and some of them join groups who are already in existence even though those groups might not be perfect alternatives, they might not even be good alternatives, but they are the only alternatives available to young people who are serious about overthrowing the Islamic Regime in Iran
Ehsan Fatahiyan was a young man who was against the Islamic Regime in its entirety. He was tortured and sentenced to death, however he did not back down, not until the last second. Even at the time of his execution he did not allow the Regime Agents to touch him and carried out his own execution dying with dignity. In my eyes that makes him a hero.
I hope that we can all respect Ehsan’s memory even if we do not agree with his political stand and to prevent certain groups or individuals from using his name and what he stood for to spread hate propaganda. Ehasan was one of the thousands of Iranian young men who was murdered for speaking out against dictatorship. He was a freedom fighter and he will remain that way in the hearts of people of Iran and Kurdistan
Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran