top of page





According to the data collected by KMMK-G, from January 1 to 31st December 2023, at least eight hundred thirty-nine (839) prisoners including 24 women were executed in Iran. At least, two hundred-eight (208) were Kurds including three (3) women and one hundred seventy (170) were Baluchis including four (4) women. KMMK-G believes that whenever the regime is facing a power crisis internally or internationally, the number of executions increases in particular against ethnic minorities. Iran’s policy of execution is not about the administration of justice, it’s a policy of the control of populations, dissents and in particular against the Iranian national, ethnic & religious minorities. Over 60% of Iran’s political executions are Kurds, 25% Baluchis and 10% Ahwazi-Arabs. Despite the international urgent calls, Iranian regime executed Farhad Salimi, a Kurdish opinion prisoner on 23rd January and four Kurdish political prisoners on 29th January 2024. Twelve (12) other Kurdish political prisoners are at risk of imminent executions.




KMMK-G has received reports of extra-judicial executions of fifty-one (51) border couriers known as kolbars from January 1 until31st December, 2023, with another two hundred ninety (290) individuals working as kolbar injured at the border due to incidents such as direct shootings of border officials and landmine explosions among other things. This brings the total number of incidents reported regarding shootings and discriminatory killings of Kolbaran to three hundred forty-one (341) during the period under consideration.
Three of the kolbaran killed were under 18 years of age. Mani Habibi was only 14 years old when he was shot dead by Iranian border officials
Hoshiar Hassanpour, 20 years old, from Baneh, is the latest victim of Iran’s extra-judicial executions by its official border agents. Hoshiar was shot in the head and chest on Monday 5th of June at the Zala border and died immediately.
Moreover, many kolbaran (border couriers) were arrested and their goods were confiscated by the authorities thus far in 2023. In addition, hundreds of horses belonging to Kurdish Kolbaran were also shot dead.
Due to high rates of unemployment and contamination caused by landmines and explosive remnants of the Iran-Iraq war that seriously hamper the daily lives of civilians, particularly the farmers, the nomads, the shepherds and traders, the Kurdish youths from the four Kurdistan provinces of Kermashan (Kermanshah), Sine (Kurdistan), Ilam and Wermê (West Azerbaijan) engage in kolbari carrying commodities, such as tea, tobacco and fuel to earn a living.  




Similar to previous years, the share of Kurdish political imprisonment remains dramatically high in 2023 (from 1st January 2023 until 31st December, 2023).
According to KMMK-G’s collected data, from January 1 until 31st December, 2023, at least one thousand one hundred seventy-one (1’171) Kurdish citizens including one hundred twenty-four (124) women and forty-seven (47) religious leaders were arrested. At least two hundred fifty (250) of the detainees were sentenced to long years of imprisonment. Two hundred (200) were charged in relation to the nationwide protests and membership of Kurdish political parties mainly Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) for fabricated crimes such as: “propaganda against the system”, “actions against state security”, and “membership in opposition groups”. This includes fifteen women (15) three of whom are under 18 years of age. The charges include “moharebeh” (waging war against God) and “baghi va qiam-i mosalahaneh ‘alayhe hokoumat-i Islami” (committing an armed uprising against the Islamic regime).
Therefore, the total number of Kurdish citizens detained by Iranian security forces including those related to the recent unrest, is over three thousand (3’000) individuals. KMMK-G has identified their names. At least, three hundred thirty-five (335) of them are women.




Various international bodies and entities such as the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on Iran (2010) and the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) (January 2016) have made observations and recommendations, urging the Islamic Republic to clear its territory of landmines and all the remnants of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988). Nevertheless, despite international and domestic efforts, the Islamic Republic refuses to cooperate with international NGOs and entities and to ratify the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty.


Based on KMMK-G’s data, thus far this year (January 1 until December 31, 2023), a total of twenty-seven (27) citizens have fallen victims to landmine explosions in the Iranian Kurdistan. Eight (8) Kurdish civilians were killed and eighteen (18) were wounded due to landmines explosions and unexploded remnants of the Iran-Iraq war, which ended a long time ago in 1988. Six (6) of the victims were from Wermê (Western Azerbaijan), eleven (11) from Sine (Kurdistan), six (6) from Kermashan (Kermanshah) and four (4) from Ilam.


It is also important to note that according to Iran’s official statistics, during to eight years-long Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988), more than 20 million landmines were planted in the Iranian Kurdistan and Khuzestan provinces that seriously hamper the daily lives of civilians, particularly the farmers, the nomads, the shepherds and traders. Essentially, an area of about 4 million and 200 thousand hectares is contaminated by mines and explosive materials.


Iranian Kurdistan is the most affected area by landmines and undetonated ammunitions. The reason for this is the armed conflict of 1980-1993 between state forces and Kurdish combatants. Reportedly, the Iranian Army planted an unknown number of mines around their barracks and compounds in many villages and cities in Kurdistan. Recent reports also indicate that Iran continues to plant landmines in Kurdistan.




Iranian Kurdistan undergoes a destructive policy of river deviation, environmental neglecting and forest devastation by fire resulting often form Islamic Revolutionary Gradians Corps (IRGC) blind shelling.


In 2023, only in Mariwan, according local official, over 2,000 hectares of forest have been burned as a result of forest fires in the Sine province.  However, representative form Kurdish environmental association the "Sebze Chya"  contradicted the official statement, asserting that around 500 hectares of forest and meadows in Marivan have burned to the flames.


The Iranian authorities do not allocate enough budget for the cost of fire extinguishers. It’s often Kurdish volunteers arriving from different cities of Iranian Kurdistan region to help put out the fires while many others raised funds to help with the process. In the course of the action few volunteers lost their life.

Local population and volunteers have blamed the Iranian military for the fires, saying that they often set up bases outside of the cities and burn surrounding forests under the pretext of security concerns, but do not act to control the fires and end up burning large areas of land. 


According to Iran’s official statistics, during to eight years-long Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988), more than 20 million landmines were planted in the Iranian Kurdistan and Khuzestan province that seriously hamper the daily lives of civilians, particularly the farmers, the nomads, the shepherds and traders. Essentially, an area of about 4 million and 200 thousand hectares is contaminated by mines and explosive materials.

Despite international and domestic efforts, the Islamic Republic refuses to cooperate with international NGOs and entities and to ratify the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty.




After the murder of Jina Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish young girl, in September 2022 in Tehran by the so-called “Morality Police”, we are witnessing a historical and critical moment in Iran, Kurdish women have been playing a major role in bringing together Iranian women, men and youth, from all diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds, under the banner and the manifest of Jin, Jiyan, Azadi, women, life, freedom to call for regime change.

Since the inception of the Islamic Republic in Iran in 1979, Kurdistan has been pioneer in the fight to defy ayatollah rules, and to promote values of a secular, democratic, federal Iran, that fully respect women and minority rights.

Kurdish women have been in the forefront of the fight for the emancipation of women not only in Iran but in the whole Middle-East region. They are in the origin of the manifest of Jin, Jiyan, Azadi, women, life, freedom that has now become the war chant of the protestors in whole Iran.  Kurdish women have also played a major role defeating the barbaric Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and pays a huge price for developing a pluralist, tolerant and egalitarian conception of state not only in Iran but in the whole Middle-east dominated by sectarian and radicalism. Since the start of Jina woman, life, freedom movement, at least 335 Kurdish women were detained.

Suffering the outrageous misogynistic Sharia laws of Iran and living under multiple levels of political, ethnic, gender and economic oppression under the Iranian rule, Kurdish women are further handicapped by the politically-driven underdevelopment of their region, and are denied basic human rights such as education. Sadly, suicide through self-burning has become a common way of protest and tends to be seen as the only solution to end an excruciating life. Suicide by burning makes up less than 1 per cent of all suicides in developed countries. In Iran, up to 71 per cent of suicides are conducted via self-immolation, most of which are committed by women between 17-28 in the Kurdish region. The majority of victims are female, little educated (illiterate or only educated to primary school level) and married. Today the Kurdish-majority Kermashan Province has some of the highest rates of female self-immolation around the world.


Another problem most self-burn victims had in common was poverty. In Kurdistan region of Iran, unemployment or underemployment triggers a sense of vulnerability and can cause individuals to worry about their future; it also creates a sense of loss and loneliness, especially because of reduced social support; and the lack of health insurance coupled with the deteriorating situation, aggravating the consequences of stressful life events. The chain reactions can lead to, for example, having poor problem-solving skills and an inability to consider the consequences of an attempted self-immolation which include disfigurement, embarrassment, and disability.


Since the beginning of the protests, at least four hundred-ninety-seven (497) protestors were killed. Four hundred forty-seven (447) of them were men and forty-five (45) were women. One hundred forty-eight (148) of them were Kurds and one hundred thirty-five (135) were Baluchis.

In Iranian Kurdistan provinces, eighty protesters were reportedly targeted by Iranian security forces at close range, resulting in damage to their eyes or blindness. Iranian Kurdistan has experienced some of the most violent repression, with a disproportionately higher number of protestors losing their sight and being targeted by pellet guns and shootings compared to the rest of the country. Over 80 protestors were reportedly blinded by security forces, but at this stage, KMMK-G has been able to identify the identities of only thirty-seven (37) Kurdish protestors who were blinded by Iranian officials’ shootings, including two girls.

In Kurdistan, Mahabad has seen the highest number of protestors blinded by pellet guns and bullets. Eleven (11) protestors were blinded in Mahabad, five (5) in Saqqez, three (3) in Bokan, three (3) in Sine (Sanandaj), four (4) in Piranshar (Piranshahr), three (3) in Kermashan (Kermanshah), five (5) in Awadanan (Abadanan), and one (1) in Pawa (Paveh).

Ms Kawsar (Mehbanoo) Khoushnoudi Kia, from Kermashan (Kermanshah), was injured in the eye by a bullet during a protest in Kermashan and lost her left eye on 9 December 2022. Ms Kawsar became an archery champion and silver medal winner at the 2021 Asian Archery Championship Games. Despite surgery, she lost her left sight.

Ms Mastane Nazê, from Piranshahr, was shot in the eyes by a pellet gun in front of her house in the Piranshahr main street (24 meters).  She was taken to Khomeini Hospital in Piranshahr and underwent eye surgery three times. Mastane lost her left eye. She was born on 25th November 1999 and her parents are Mr Abdullah and Mrs Ayesha.

Ms. Gashin Mohammadi is a photographer and artist who has been active in the field of social issues for many years. She was arrested by the security forces in October 2022 once the Woman, Life, Freedom movement began. She has been released on bail until the end of the court proceedings. Currently, she lives in Sine (Sanandaj) city and all her art projects have been stopped


If the international community especially the United Nations does not act in time, stopping the spread of frustration and disappointment among marginalized women who are pushed to edge, self-immolation will be further normalized, extending its vicious circle and turning into an epidemic, leaving children without their mothers and the community deeply scarred. It is therefore the international community’s responsibility to intervene and halt Iran’s ongoing ethnic oppressions combined with laws that consider women subhuman. Iran’s ethnic groups, in particular the Kurds, live in constant state-driven discrimination and persecution.




In Iran, specifically in the Kurdistan region, LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) rights face similar challenges as in other parts of the country. Homosexuality is illegal in Iran, including in Kurdistan, and individuals who identify as LGBT may face discrimination, harassment, and persecution.

The Kurdish region of Iran is known for its strong cultural identity and unique traditions, but the attitudes towards LGBT individuals are often influenced by the broader laws and societal norms in Iran. LGBT individuals in Kurdistan, like in other parts of Iran, may live in fear and secrecy due to the oppressive laws and social stigmas surrounding homosexuality.

Despite the challenges, there are activists and organizations in the Kurdistan region of Iran working to advocate for LGBT rights and raise awareness about the issues facing the LGBT community. However, the fight for LGBT rights in Kurdistan, as in the rest of Iran, remains a difficult and dangerous struggle.



Your support, big or small, would mean the world to us. Make a one-off or regular donation today to support our work.

bottom of page