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The Kurdistan Human Rights Association - Geneva (KMMK-G) aims to promote democracy, respect for human rights and social development in and beyond Kurdistan of Iran.

To that end, the Association commits itself to fight against any form of discrimination towards national,  ethnic and religious minorities within the region, defend political prisoners, fight for the abolition of the death penalty, and promote women’s and children’s rights. In addition, the KMMK-G intends to increase public awareness on the situation of human rights in all Kurdish regions and to promote the rights and integration of the Kurds wherever they live.

Established in Geneva in 2006, the KMMK-G constitutes a bridge between the Kurdish civil society, the United Nations Agencies and NGOs and participates actively in all the sessions of the Human Rights Council, the ESCR, the CPR Committee, the UPR and the UN Forum on minority issues and presents them with reports on the situation of Human Rights in Kurdistan of Iran (  Moreover, the Association frequently gets in touch with various United Nations organs in order to submit reports to them on the situation of human rights in the Kurdistan of Iran and other parts of the country.

The KMMK-G is, therefore, a recognized source of information. Its reports are published on the website of the United Nations Human Rights Council and the High Commissioner of Human Rights. The Association also frequently publishes articles in Kurdish and Iranian media.

The KMMK-G is also active within the Geneva and Swiss communities. Swiss political parties regularly consult with the Association about the Kurdish issue and immigrants’ integration. Furthermore, the KMMK-G supports the Kurdish diaspora living in exile by organising conferences, cultural events and language courses.

Iran is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country with a population of 82 million composed mainly of Persians, Kurds, Baluchis, Azerbaijanis, Turkmens, and Ahawazi-Arabs. Based on Articles 1, 4, 12, 15 and 105 of the Constitution, the minorities are excluded from political participation and power predominantly resides with the Persian-Shia group. The governance is based on a system of one country, one nation, one language and one religion. The utilization of the "gozinesh" criterion, a selection process mandating allegiance to the Islamic Republic of Iran and the official state religion for prospective officials and employees, severely restricts the employment prospects and political involvement of individuals from ethnic and religious minorities, including the Kurds, Ahwazi-Arabs, Azeris, Balochis, Jews, Bahá’ís, Christians, Armenians, and Kurdish Yarsanis.





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There are no official and reliable statistics on the exact number of Kurds in Iran and the Near East states where they live. Despite multiple demands from the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in 2006 and in 2010, Iran refuses to carry out a study/census based on ethnicity and religion. Current estimates are based on population statistics for each department or governorate in the Kurdish majority settlement area.

In 2009, Hamid Reza Haji Babai, the then Minister of Education, stated that 70 per cent of Iran’s pupils are bilingual, with Persian still not used as the primary language by children even after first grade.  He further claimed that students experience academic difficulties, which arise during the first grade, because of language barriers and they continue with these same issues in the later stages of their education. In reality, over 50 percent of Iran's population neither identifies as Persian nor speaks the language as their first language.

Since the inception of the Islamic Republic and Ayatollah Khomeini’s declaration of holy war against the Kurds, they have been framed, stigmatized, and perceived as anti-Islam, anti-revolutionary, ashrar (pagans), violent, 'separatists,' 'rebels,' and agents of Israel or the West.

Discrimination, violence and hate speech against Kurdish people and other minorities in Iran are inherent to the inception of the Islamic Republic. On the 19th of August 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini, in an incendiary rhetoric, declared a holy war against Kurdish people and framed them as anti-Islam and Anti-revolutionary because they were simply for a secular, federal and democratic state and refused the establishment of an Islamic State in Iran. Since then, the Kurds have been stigmatized, marginalized, and excluded from any participation in public life and perceived and treated as a hostile group by the Iranian state and its media.



Despite the UN Human Rights Committee’s recommendation and call to Iran in 2011 to ensure that all members of ethnic, religious, and linguistic minorities can enjoy their own culture and use their language in media and schools, the Iranian regime continues to ignore and suppress the Kurdish and other linguistic and cultural activists.

Historically, the suppression of minority languages in favor of the Persian language goes back to the beginning of the 20th century and has continued from the Pahlavi dynasty to the Islamic Republic. For nearly a century, assimilatory policies have been enforced, prominently marked by the imposition of Persian as the sole language of instruction in state schools. Additionally, these policies encompass alterations in geographic names, the suppression of minority language publications and cultural associations, and the persistent practice where civil registry officials continue to deny children from ethnic minorities the right to be named in their native languages.

Under Article 15 of the Iranian Constitution, Persian is the only official language in the country. However, the same article stipulates that “the use of regional and tribal languages in the press and mass media, as well as for teaching of their literature in schools, is allowed in addition to Persian.” The phrasing of this article effectively restricts the domains in which languages other than Persian can be used, including in schools where teaching in a minority language is permitted only for literature classes. This provision does not involve guarantees that children belonging to linguistic minorities will have access to education in their mother tongue.

However, in practice, there have been no elementary, middle, or high schools in the public system that teach the foremost minority languages, such as Azeri-Turkish, Baluchi or Kurdish. On the contrary, the Ministry of Education has reportedly circulated reminders to teachers and school administrators that the use of Kurdish and Turkish languages inside public schools is forbidden.

In addition, the Kurdish cultural and linguistic activists and teachers are often facing arbitrary detention and unfair imprisonment. Ms Zara Mohammadi, a Kurdish teacher and the founder of the Nojin Cultural Association, was arbitrarily sentenced to ten (10) years imprisonment and spent five (5) years in Sanandaj Central Prison for teaching the Kurdish language. All other members of this cultural association are either facing unfair trials or are in jail.


Baluchis are virtually all Sunni Muslims. They are estimated to be 5-6 million but the Iranian state, Persian media in diaspora as well as Iranian Human Rights Groups estimate their number to be only a little over one million.



Reza Shah in 1928, in a nationalistic and centralized policy, supported by the British, undertook an assimilation strategy of non-Persians by demographic changes, disintegrating territories, changing names, and annexing parts of one ethnic territory to another in order to divide and govern. Baluchistan known as “British Baluchistan” before its takeover by Iran with the support of the British in 1922, was disintegrated and parts of it were annexed to the neighbouring provinces of South Khorasan, Kerman and Hormozgan.

Today both Iranian official media and diaspora Persian media call Baluchistan:  Sistan or Zahedan but not Iranian Baluchistan which covers at least 3 provinces.

The Baluchis are perceived as “malakh-khur” (insect eaters) and "biaban-gard” (wanderers), dehumanized and treated by the state and its media as people not worth living. Dozens of thousands of Baluchi children are deprived of national ID cards, thus deprived of education, access to health care and public life.



The Ahwazi-Arab people are perceived and framed by the state media as “Susmar-khur” (lizard eaters), “chadur nisheen” (tribals and uncivilized), “camel riders“,  “A’arabs” or “savages” or “Arab zaban” (Arab speakers) and “non-indigenous people of that very rich part of Iran”. The name Ahwaz is not used, they call it Khuzestan (and Ahwaz as a part of Khuzestan), which refers only to a small part of Ahwaz. The State media refers to Ahwaz as the Southwest of Iran. The Ahwazi-Arabs are also living in Bushehr, Mahshahr, Bandar Abbas and Abadan. Their number is estimated to be 5-7 million, but the regime talks about one million and a half. While Ahwaz is one of the richest parts of Iran in terms of oil and gas, it is the most impoverished part of Iran along with Kurdistan and Baluchistan. Over 70% of Ahwazi-Arabs are Shiite.



Iranian Kurdistan reaches a population of about 13 million, or 17.5% of the population of Iran (82 million). Iranian Kurdistan is composed of four main provinces: Sine (Kurdistan), Kermashan (Kermanshah), Ilam and Wermê (Western Azerbaijan).  In addition, around two million Kurds live in Khorasan (1.5 million) and Tehran (0.5 million). Kurdish cities have often two names, one Persian name imposed by the State and a Kurdish historical name. The names in parenthesis are Persian-imposed names.


Kurdistan encompasses a diverse religious landscape, with a mosaic of followers including Sunnis and Shias moslems, Yarsanis, Chaldo-Assyrians (Chaldean Catholics), Jews, Bahá’ís, Zoroastrians, Gonabadi Dervishes, and members of various religious brotherhoods such as Ghaderi, Naqshbandi, and others.



Turkmens, similar to the Kurds and Baluchis, are mostly Sunnis and their number is estimated to be 4 million. They live in Turkmen Sahra (Desert, Forest, Caspian Sea and Khorasan mountains), Gulestan, North Khorasan (Kurds, Turkmens), Razavi Khorasan, and  South Khorasan.

The Iranian Turkmens are perceived as “rahzan” (bandits), “gharatgar” (looters), “mohajem” (invadors), “mohajer” (immigrants), and “non-Iranians and non-indigenous people of the region”. Turkmens are also suffering from a high level of discrimination in access to education and healthcare, high rates of unemployment, and a lack of industry or investment by the state. The main occupations of Turkmens are animal husbandry (damdari) and fishing (sayyadi).

Turkmen sayyads (Fishermen) in the port of Bandar Turkmen, similar to the Kurdish kulbars (border couriers) or Baluchi sukhtbars (fuel porters) are victims of extrajudicial killings by IRCG.



Azerbaijani-Turks number is estimated to be between 17-20 million. They are virtually all Shiite. Azerbaijan like Kurdistan, Baluchistan, Ahwaz and Turkmen Sahra have suffered as a consequence of Reza Shah’s demographic changes and divisions. Reza Shah divided Azerbaijan to Eastern Azerbaijan and Western Azerbaijan and annexed and mixed Kurdish and Turkish cities. Azerbaijani-Turks mainly live in Ardabil, Zanjan and other cities such as Tehran.

Azerbaijani Turks are depicted in Iranian official media and newspapers as “intellectually challenged”, “sub‐human members of society” and often referred to as “Turk-i khar” (donkey Turks), “qazanfar” (dim people with low IQ), “cockroaches” and made fun of in state affiliated mass media. As an example, in May 2006, Iran Newspaper, the official daily newspaper of the government of Iran, depicted the Azerbaijanis in a cartoon as “cockroaches” speaking Turkish.



Co-Founder & Executive Director


Taimoor Aliassi

Taimoor Aliassi is the Executive Director and UN Representative of the KMMK-G. Mr. Aliassi is a Swiss citizen with a Kurdish background from Iran, the country he left after the 1979 revolution. He studied at the Geneva Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) and obtained a Master of Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Action with a specialization in international law.

As the co-founder of KMMK-G, and currently co-chair of Impact Iran (a coalition of 17 international non-governmental organisations), Taimoor strives to promote democracy, respect for human rights and social development in Kurdistan of Iran and beyond. He advocates frequently at the United Nations, as well as across parliaments, governments and non-governmental organisations. A regular speaker at international conferences, he also builds coalitions with human rights defenders, as well as being a frequent commentator in the media (BBC, VOA, DW, Iran International TV, RTS, SFR, France Info, Le Temps, Tdg,  K24, Rudaw TV, NRT tv, Al -Arabiya, Al-Hadath, etc).

Taimoor focuses on challenging all forms of discrimination, especially against people from ethnic and religious minorities in the region, advocating against the death penalty and promoting the rights of women and children. In March 2014, Taimoor co-authored a book called on the death penalty in Iran published by Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort (ECPM). At the local level, he was an elected official for the Geneva City Council (2015-2020).

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Co-Founder & Chairperson

Rahim Mohammadi

Rahim is a Kurdish citizen from Iran where he left in 1980. He lived in Iraq a as refugee for 15 years where he worked as a cultural and civil activist focusing on the issues related to youth.

Since 1995, he lives in Lausanne in Switzerland and is active in the field of journalism, human rights, integration of refugees and writings. Rahim is a well-known Kurdish author and has published eight books in Kurdish and last one is entitled: History of Coalition Building in Kurdistan of Ian. He also wrote a number of books on the education of children and Kurdish folklores.


Rahim is also the co-founder of Kurdistan Human Rights Association-Geneva (KMMK-G) and acting as its president since its establishment in 2006. He also participates and speaks at most of the UN Human Rights Council Sessions in Geneva.

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Kani Mohammadi

Kani is a law student at the University of Lucerne in Switzerland. In Kurdistan, she was a member of Nojin Cultural Association and she worked and promoted the rights to education in mother tongue. her sister Ms. Zara Mohammadi (BBC 100 Women 2022) was detained arbitrarily by Iran for five years. Recently, three other members of the association were also detained.

Since her arrival in Switzerland in 2015, Kani continues to work on the promotion of human rights, women rights and minority rights. She is part of the Board of the Kurdistan Human Rights Association-Geneva (KMMK-G) and represents the organization at the UN, EU Parliament and capitals.



We join forces with like-minded organizations to challenge the power structures that exclude and silence. Kurdistan Human Rights Association-Geneva (KMMK-G) is part and working closely with the following coalitions and networks of NGOs:

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