ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Interior Ministry in Erbil has condemned an attack on the Iranian consulate by protesters on Friday, threatening to bring charges against the attackers. “We condemn this riot and state that those involved in the attack will face charges,” said the ministry in a statement.
On Friday a number of Iranian Kurds living in the Kurdistan Region and members of Iranian Kurdish parties gathered in Erbil’s Shanidar Park to protest against the execution of Kurdish political prisoners in Iran. “We are gathered here against the execution of Kurdish youth in Iran,” one of the protesters told Rudaw. “And we urge all political parties in the Kurdistan Region not to remain silent about the hangings of our young men.” Later on some of the protesters who chanted anti-Iran slogans marched toward the Iranian consulate and attacked the compound by throwing rocks and trying to enter the building.
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Minister of the Interior, Karim Sinjari, said that the protesters had misused their permission for a peaceful gathering in the park. “Such actions are not compatible with the KRG policy,” said Sinjari in a meeting with Iran’s consul general in Erbil, Seyid Azim Hosseini. Riot police and security forces intervened to stop the protesters from entering the Iranian consulate, and according to an official source, several people have been arrested, including two members of the Kurdish Komala Party, as organizers of the rally.
The execution of three Kurdish prisoners by the Iranian judicial authorities in the last two weeks has triggered angry demonstrations in Kurdish cities across the region. “The Islamic Republic cannot defeat the Kurdish people with such actions,” said an elderly woman outside Shanidar Park. Iran hanged Habibollah Golparipour, Reza Ismaili and Sherko Ma’arifi for alleged membership in the Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK) despite calls from Kurdish political parties and human rights organizations, including Amnesty International not to uphold the sentences.
In another protest earlier this month, the Land Protection Youth Organization held a gathering outside the Iranian Consulate in Erbil, to condemn the hanging of Golparipour. “The Kurdish people should be united against this aggression and the execution of the Kurds will only make us persist more for our rights,” the youth group said in a statement. Human rights activists in Iran say that currently 50 Kurdish political prisoners are at risk of execution in Iranian jails.