An independence referendum for Iraqi Kurdistan was held on 25 September 2017, with the vast majority of votes cast in favour of independence. To celebrate, thousands of Kurds poured into the streets in the Kurdish cities of Iran including Sanandaj, Kamyaran, Ravansar, Javanroud, Mariwan, Baneh, Saghez, Bukan, Baneh, Sardasht, Piranshahr and Mahabad on Monday night despite tight security measures. Some footage also showed Iranian police officers assembling nearby and watching the demonstrators.
Iranian state television on Tuesday acknowledged the rallies, a rarity in the Islamic Republic broadcast. Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard and its regular army have been running military exercises near the border with Iraq’s Kurdish region to mark Tehran’s displeasure at the Kurdish referendum.
Irancell’s telephone Operator has been completely interrupted in the various cities of Kurdistan since noon yesterday and the Internet is extremely low in some cities while there is no internet access in Piranshahr, Sardasht and Baneh.
The Anti-Riot forces have been patrolling in the streets of Sanandaj, Baneh, Mariwan, Mahabad, Sardasht and Bukan since Tuesday, Sept 25, 2017, and any gathering in all cities of Kurdistan has been banned.
The IRGC announced the launch of a security manoeuvre, called “Muharram” in the 23 and 24 of Sept in addition to sending tanks and heavy military equipment to various cities of Kurdistan. Meanwhile, the Special Forces are still manoeuvring in the main areas of the city to create an atmosphere of fear and terror.
Several fighters still fly over some cities including Piranshahr, Sardast, Baneh and Marivan. The fighter’s manoeuvre along the border lines started on the afternoon of the day when the news of the blockade of the Iranian airspace with the Kurdistan region was released. Breaking the sound wall of Piranshahr has particularly caused fear among the people.
Riot and plainclothes forces in several cities raided citizens in the streets and arrested dozens of them and transferred them to the security and intelligence police detention centres, informed sources told Kurdistan Human Rights Network.
“security forces attacked a number of citizens gathering to support the Kurdistan Independence Referendum on Friday, Sept 22, 2017, in the city’s park, and at least 11 Kurdish citizens have been arrested and transferred to the Detention Centre of the Intelligent Office.”, an informed source in Bukan told Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN).
This source announced the names of the detained citizens as “Pouria Qurishi, Ghafour Pourahmad, Rahman Khosravi, Avat Soltani, Edris Ghaderi, Omid Farooqi, Rahim Afshari, Salman Bepoush, Diako Pourmostafa, Ghafur Nasiri and Rahman Ghaderi. “The authorities have still not commented about the fate of these detainees and the reason for their detention despite the consistent enquiries made by their families”, the informed source added.
During a celebration in Mahabad on Monday night, plainclothes forces arrested several people whose identity remains unknown except for two of them who have been identified as Ronak Aghayi and her daughter, Serwe Mussazadeh.”, a source in the city of Mahabad told the KHRN.
The sources of the Kurdistan Human Rights Network in the cities of Saqez,Sanandaj,Sardasht and Piranshahr have also reported the arrest of several citizens in these cities. The names of these detainees will be announced later.