Ferhat Yaşar / DUVAR
More than 100 Kurdish citizens have detained in various cities of Iran since Jan. 9, in the latest chapter of repression against the country's Kurdish population.
Several families do not even know where their children are currently held, with authorities refusing to give them information in this regard.
Mostafa Ilkhanizadeh, a Kurdish writer and the head of the Cultural and Educational Institute in the city of Bukan, was also among the detained. Ilkhanizadeh was released after a three-day-long detention period, local reports said.
Kurdish women's rights activist Ferzane Celalî, who is living in Istanbul, said that only 11 of the detained have been so far released. She said that the rest of the detainees are allowed to talk to their families only if they speak in Persian with them.
Only one of the detainees has been sent to the Urmia prison in northwestern Iran and the rest are being held in the detention centers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and intelligence services, Celalî said.
“Several families do not have any information as to where their children are being held. Officials are threatening and insulting families who ask about their children's whereabouts. Also, families are being prevented from contacting the media and United Nations,” Celalî said.
The pressure from the Iranian security agencies on the Glaris women's music band in Kermanshah has also increased, as all members of the band have been summoned or Iranian Security Police offices.
The 17-year-old poet from Marivan, Arezoo Mostafaei, was also detained, and after spending three days under interrogation, he was released on bail, Celalî noted.
Iranian authorities extended the detention period of 25 activists for another 30 days, she said.
“Authorities have not yet launched an investigation into the detainees or imposed a penalty on them. Families and civil society organizations are becoming more worried about the detainees because officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran are pressuring them to give false statements or cast aspersion on somebody while exposing them to torture,” Celalî said, lamenting that several media outlets of Iran are silent in the face of these detentions.
There are around 12 million Kurds in Iran, forming about 17 percent of the population.
While Kurdish culture is allowed and the language is used in some broadcasts, the Kurdish population is known to suffer from deep-rooted discrimination.