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Minorities At Risk Project: Home    

Chronology for Kurds in Iran

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Date(s) Item
Feb 1990 Thousands of Kurds demonstrate in seven Iranian towns and more than 500 are arrested. These protests are said to be due to the execution of 17 Kurdish activists.
Apr 1 - Aug 31, 1990 Iranian Kurdish rebels mount numerous attacks against government forces. Over 300 Iranian soldiers are killed and over 150 are captured.
Apr 24, 1990 A prominent Iranian Kurdish nationalist is assassinated near Geneva by what is believed to be Iranian security forces.
Jul 28, 1990 The Kurdish opposition frees 152 POWs as a humanitarian gesture.
Nov 20, 1990 Iranian security arrests a Kurdish guerilla accused of killing two revolutionary guards last summer.
1991 The KDPI accuses Iran of numerous human rights violations.
Jan 14, 1991 Iran executes seven Kurdish guerrillas, all members of the KDPI, for spying, murder and armed activities.
Mar 1991 Iranian forces cross over into Iraq and attack Iranian rebel forces, including Kurdish forces.
Mar 1 - Apr 30, 1991 1.3 million Iraqi refugees, most of them Kurds, arrive in Iran in the aftermath of the Gulf War and Iraq's attacks upon its Kurdish population. Most of them return to Iraq by the end of the year.
Jun 1 - Jul 31, 1991 Iranian Kurdish guerrillas mount attacks against the Iranian Army.
Aug 12, 1991 Iranian Kurdish rebels kill five Iranian surveyors near the Turkish border. KDPI guerrillas also set fire to an exhibition of industrial machinery and briefly take policemen hostage in the town of Mahcbad.
Sep 30, 1991 Iran begins to repatriate some of the 30,000 Iranian Kurdish refugees in Iraq who moved away during the Iran-Iraq war.
Dec 2, 1991 Iran executes a Kurdish cleric convicted of spying for Iraq.
Jan 1, 1992 more than 200 Iranian Kurdish refugees are allowed to return from Iraq.
Jan 17 - 18, 1992 There are several reports of violent demonstrations in several Kurdish towns in western Iran. In the town of Bowkan 17 are killed or wounded.
Mar 1992 there are several reports of Iranian Kurds attacking Iran from across the Iraqi border.
Sep 13, 1992 Iran and Turkey agree to boost border security and clamp down on each other's Kurdish opposition. Each state's opposition uses the other state as a base for its operations.
Sep 17, 1992 Two gunmen, believed to be working for the Iranian government, shoot at eight KDPI officials in Bonn, Germany. Four KDPI politicians and their driver are killed.
Mar 1 - Dec 31, 1993 Iranian forces shell Iranian Kurdish opposition forces in Iraq with both artillery and airplanes.
Apr 1 - May 31, 1993 Iranian forces cross over into Iraq and attack Kurdish rebel forces. They eventually occupy a "security zone" of over 100 sq km.
May 20, 1993 Iran accuses Iraq of training Iranian Kurdish rebels.
Jun 7, 1993 Iran, Syria and Turkey meet to discuss the Kurdish problem in northern Iraq which they all feel is a threat to their security.
Jul 1 - Oct 31, 1993 About 5000 Iraqi Kurds flee to Iran. 55,00 Iraqi Kurds now live in Iran.
Aug 9, 1993 Iranian forces cross the border into Iraq and attack Kurdish rebel forces.
Sep 1 - Nov 30, 1993 Iranian Kurdish rebels continuously attack Iranian revolutionary guards and government buildings in the Kurdish areas of Iran along the Iraqi and Turkish borders.
Nov 1 - Dec 31, 1993 Both the UN and Amnesty International accuse the Iranian government of the political assassination of members of its Kurdish opposition.
Nov 15, 1993 Iran blows up a car in Iraqi Kurdistan killing six including 5 KDPI members.
Dec 1993 Iran and Turkey reach an agreement to coordinate their efforts against each other's Kurdish opposition.
Jan 7, 1994 A prominent member of the KDPI is assassinated by gunmen believed to be affiliated with Iranian security forces.
Feb 20, 1994 An Iranian Kurdish NCO flies his helicopter to Iraqi Kurdistan and asks for political asylum.
Apr 27, 1994 A home made bomb explodes near a government building in the Iranian Kurdish town of Oshnoviyeh. No one is killed.
Aug 17, 1994 The democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan claims to have killed 15 Iranian Revolutionary Guards in a clash in western Iran.
Sep 1, 1994 Iran's IRNA news agency says that Kurdish rebels have blocked a highway in western Iran, set 2 military vehicles ablaze and wounded one person. The rebels also went to the village of Nahrab and delivered speeches to the residents.
Sep 25, 1994 Turkey and Iran agree to stop opposition groups from operating in each other's territory.
Oct 5, 1994 The Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran charges that Tehran intends to level 17 Kurdish villages in western Iran.
Oct 11, 1994 The Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran announces that 4 Kurdish villages have been demolished by Iran and that authorities have told the residents of 5 more villages to leave.
Nov 6 - 9, 1994 Iran bombs several Iranian Kurdish opposition groups in Iraq.
Apr 1995 A total of 6 Iranian Kurds were killed in attacks in Iraqi Kurdistan, allegedly by Iranian government agents. (Foundation for Democracy in Iran)
Jun 5, 1995 Two members of an Iranian Kurdish group were gunned down in Iraqi Kurdistan by Iranian government agents, according to the State Department's yearly report on terrorism. (Foundation for Democracy in Iran)
Jul 13, 1995 The UN High Commissioner for Refugees says that some 12,000 out of 23,000 Iranian Kurd refugees in a camp in western Iraq have registered their names for voluntary repatriation.
Aug 4, 1995 The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan says that Iranian government agents assassinated its representative in Baghdad. Tehran denies the charges and says the killings are the result of political infighting among rebels.
Sep 1 - Oct 31, 1995 An Iranian Kurdish opposition group accused Iranian officials of torturing and executing ten Kurdish political prisoners who allegedly supported a banned political group, Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (KDPI). Another 345 people were also arrested at this time for the same infraction. (Reuters, October 3; Foundation for Democracy in Iran, October 20. 1995)
Dec 4, 1995 The Democractic Party of Iranian Kurdistan kills 15 members of the Iranian security force in clashes in western Iran. (Reuters)
Apr 21, 1996 Iranian agents driving a Red Crescent Society ambulance attacked an Iranian Kurdish refugee camp in northern Iraq. (Foundation for Democracy in Iran)
Jun 22, 1996 Turkish troops inside Iran allegedly killed 7 members of KDPI in Iran. (Reuters)
Jul 10, 1996 Iranian agents exploded a car-bomb near a housing complex amidst the main concentration of KDPI refugee camps in northern Iraq. (Foundation for Democracy in Iran)
Jul 28, 1996 Rahman Radjabi Hamvand, a member of KDPI, was executed. The charges against him stemmed from a complaint by a private individual that was later withdrawn. (US State Department, February 1997)
Jul 29, 1996 3,000 Iranian troops entered Kurdish territory in northern Iraq in search of KDPI guerillas, reportedly killing 20 members of KDPI, while displacing over 2,000 Iranian Kurd refugees. Iranian officials claimed that the attack was justified on the basis of self-defense (Reuters)
Aug 4, 1996 KDPI members announce that they will stop crossborder attacks from Iraq into Iran. (Agence France Presse)
Aug 23, 1996 Former president of Iran Abolhassan Banisadr stated that during the last 15 years, the Iranian government ordered the killings of over 60 dissidents, including 4 KDPI leaders in Germany in 1992. (Rueters)
Aug 24, 1996 KDPI members in Iraq claim that Iran is planning to launch another offensive into northern Iraq and called upon the world community to condemn Iranian aggression. (Reuters)
Sep 19, 1996 During a review of Irans military forces, the Ayotollah Khomeini stated his belief that the Kurds, like other big tribes in the Islamic Iran, are the indivisible part of this great Iranian nation. (BBC, September 21, 1996)
Apr 1997 Improved relations between Tehran and Ankara led to the deportation from Turkey to northern Iraq over 70 KDPI members. (The Daily Telegraph, April 19, 1997)
Apr 10, 1997 A German court implicated the Iranian government in the deaths of 4 Kurdish dissidents in Germany in 1992. All EU countries except Greece recalled temporarily their ambassadors from Iran following the finding of the court, imposing limited diplomatic sanctions on Iran. (Reuters, Agence France Presse)
Apr 13, 1997 Iranian Kurds accused Iranian officials of trying to poison KDPI members after 85 Iranian Kurds were treated for food poisoning with a highly toxic substance. (Reuters)
May 25, 1997 A moderate candidate, Mohammad Khatami, is elected president of Iran.
Jun 20, 1997 An Iranian Kurdish writer was sentenced to 24 months in prison, according to the Human Rights Alliance, a US-based non-profit group. Tawahudi was charged with "propagating non-Islamic lies.? (Foundation for Democracy in Iran, June 30, 1997)
Dec 2, 1998 Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi denied any ?Kurdish problem? in Iran, noting that Iranian Kurds can enjoy their ?full cultural identity,' unlike Turkish Kurds. (BBC)
Feb 16, 1999 The arrest of Turkish Kurd leader Abdullah Ocalan leads to riots by Kurds in Iran, especially in western Iran, and throughout Europe. (Deutshche Presse-Agentur)
2004 PJAK started small-arms attacks against Iranian military targets. (The Iranian government is strong. But not that strong, David Enders, Mother Jones, March 29 , 2006, http://www.motherjones.com/news/update/2006/03/kurdish_opposition.html)
2004 Kurdish organizations are monitored closely, and human rights defenders are regularly arrested. (Kerim Yildiz and Tanyel B. Taysi, The Kurds in Iran: The Past, Present and Future, London: Pluto, 2007)
Nov 2004 A 14-year old Kurdish boy dies after eceiving 85 lashes. (US State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2005, Iran, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61688.htm, March 8, 2006)
Mar 1 - Sep 1, 2005 It was reported over 120 members of the security forces had been killed and 64 injured in clashes with PJAK, the Kurdistan Independent Life Party.(Amnesty International, Iran: New Government Fails to Address Dire Human Rights Situation, AI Index: MDE 13/010/2006, 16 February 2006, http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engmde130102006)
Apr 2005 Two Kurdish journalists, Ejlal Qavami and Said Saedi, were tried in the revolutionary court for undermining national security, insulting the leadership, and portraying the system as ineffective. (US State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2005, Iran, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61688.htm, March 8, 2006)
Apr 10 - 10, 2005 Seven Kurdish activists from a banned Kurdish party were arrested on charges of starting rioting last year. ( Iranian Police Arrest Kurds Over Riots In 2005, RFE/RL, April 10, 2006, http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2006/4/DB36CB6E-6C61-4B96-BE6B-2816C45F831E.html)
Jul 2005 Seven security officials were reportedly killed in the fighting during demonstrations for the death of Kurdish activist, Qaderi. (US State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2005, Iran, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61688.htm, March 8, 2006)
Jul 1 - Aug 30, 2005 Security forces kill about 20 Kurds, injure hundreds, and detained several others. (Minority Rights Group, State of World’s Minorities 2006: Events of 2004-2005).
Jul 6 - 6, 2005 Kurdish and Sunni MPs write to the Iranian President-elect demanding that their rights be protected as promised in the Constitution. (Minority Rights Group, State of World’s Minorities 2006: Events of 2004-2005).
Jul 6 - 6, 2005 Kurdish MPs wrote to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad demanding the protection of their rights as promised by the Constitution. (Minority Rights Group, State of World’s Minorities 2006: Events of 2004-2005).
Jul 9 - 9, 2005 Security forces shot at protestors demonstrating against the killing of a young Kurdish man, Shivan Qaderi, in Mahabad. His body was dragged through Oorumieh on the back of a jeep. Security forces killed at least 17 persons during this period. (Minority Rights Group, State of World’s Minorities 2006: Events of 2004-2005) (US State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2005, Iran, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61688.htm, March 8, 2006)
Aug 2005 Mohammad Sedigh Kabovand, editor of the weekly newspaper Payam-i Mardom-i Kurdistan, is sentenced to 18 months in prison.(US State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2005, Iran, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61688.htm, March 8, 2006)
Aug 2 - 2, 2005 Roya Tolouee was arrested and placed in custody for over two months. During this time she was tortured and raped. She has since been freed after paying a large bail. (Freedom House, Gozaar, Ali Sharifian, Double Oppression: The Bitter Reality of Life for Kurdish Women in the Islamic Republic Interview with Roya Tolouee, Oct 2006, https://www.gozaar.org/template1_en.php?id=330)
Aug 3 - 3, 2005 Two people were killed and 142 arrested in Saqqez. In addition, in Kurdistan government buildings and banks were destroyed and Iranian troups arrested as many as 1,200 protestors and killed 11 people. (Unrest in Iran's Kurdish Region Has Left 17 Dead; Hundreds Have Been Wounded, NAZILA FATHI, The New York Times, August 14, 2005)
Aug 7 - 7, 2005 Shops were closed in more than a dozen Kurdish towns in protest of government treatment of the Kurds. (Unrest in Iran's Kurdish Region Has Left 17 Dead; Hundreds Have Been Wounded, NAZILA FATHI, The New York Times, August 14, 2005)
Aug 11 - 11, 2005 Pejak, a terrorist organization, abducted four police officers; however, they were released four days later. (US State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2005, Iran, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61688.htm, March 8, 2006)
Aug 14 - 14, 2005 Four members of Iranian security forces were killed near Oroumieh. (Unrest in Iran's Kurdish Region Has Left 17 Dead; Hundreds Have Been Wounded, NAZILA FATHI, The New York Times, August 14, 2005)
Sep 3 - 3, 2005 Ismail Mohammadi, arrested three years ago for collaborating with the Kurdish independence organization Komala, and Mohammad Panjbini, convicted of membership in a Kurdish separatist organization, were executed. (US State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2005, Iran, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61688.htm, March 8, 2006)
Sep 3 - 3, 2005 Ismail Mohammad and Mohammad Panjbini were executed for their alleged involvement with banned Kurdish separatist organizations. (US State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2005, Iran, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61688.htm, March 8, 2006)
Feb 21 - 21, 2006 Security forces killed eight people as they shot at Kurdish demonstrators in Maku. (William A. Samii, Testimony Submitted to the Committee on International Relations United States House of Representatives 8 March 2006 IRANIANS CONSIDER REACHING OUT TO U.S., http://www.internationalrelations.house.gov/archives/109/sam030806.pdf)
Mar 2006 PJAK raids three army bases in Kurdish areas of Iran after Iranian soldiers kill 10 militants.
Mar 2006 Clashes between the Kurds and police result in three deaths and 250 arrests. (US State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2006, Iran, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78852.htm, March 6, 2007)
Mar 2006 Iranian soldiers killed 10 Kurdish militants in Maku. (Graeme Wood, The Militant Kurds of Iran, Jane’s, Jun 28, 2006, http://www.janes.com/security/international_security/news/jir/jir060628_1_n.shtml)
Mar 14 - 14, 2006 Former editor of a Kurdish newspaper Ashti, Bahram Valad-Baigi faces court charges of undermining national security and separatism. Iran's Kurds inspired by Iraqi cousins Kurdish autonomy in Iraq is fueling a wider cultural renaissance, Gareth Smyth, Financial Times, March 14, 2006)
Mar 29 - 29, 2006 Kurdish fighters, reportedly from Pejak, kill three members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards in the northwestern corner of the country. (Kurdish Rebels Kill Three Iranian Revolutionary Guards, AFP, March 29, 2006, http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2006/3/5B91B12A-261A-430A-AECD-43FDBC72EC1F.html) also (Three Iran Guards Killed in Kurdish Clash, Reuters AlertNet, March 29, 2006, http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/BLA946211.htm)
May 8 - 8, 2006 PJAK placed a bomb in Kermanshah which injured five people at a government building. (Graeme Wood, The Militant Kurds of Iran, Jane’s, Jun 28, 2006, http://www.janes.com/security/international_security/news/jir/jir060628_1_n.shtml)
May 30 - 30, 2006 PJAK kills three Iranian Revolution Guards Corps officers near the Iraqi border. (Graeme Wood, The Militant Kurds of Iran, Jane’s, Jun 28, 2006, http://www.janes.com/security/international_security/news/jir/jir060628_1_n.shtml)
Sep 1 - 1, 2006 Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand, Kurdish journalist and human rights activist was convicted of "inciting the population to rebel against the central state." (US State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2006, Iran, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78852.htm, March 6, 2007)
Oct 12 - 12, 2006 Three journalists from a Kurdish language weekly were arrested without charge. (US State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2006, Iran, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78852.htm, March 6, 2007)

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Information current as of July 16, 2010