Sunday, 9 May 2010

Irish Times: Iran hangs five Kurdish separatists

Iran hanged five members of a Kurdish group for various charges, including "moharebe" or waging war against God, the official IRNA news agency reported today.
The four men and one woman were members of the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which took up arms in 1984 for an ethnic homeland in southeast Turkey and northwest Iran."

The five … were hanged inside Tehran's Evin prison on Sunday morning ... They confessed carrying out deadly terrorist operations in the country in the past years," IRNA said.Iran sees PJAK, which seeks autonomy for Kurdish areas in Iran and shelters in Iraq's northeastern border provinces, as a terrorist group.
In recent years, Iranian forces have often clashed with PJAK guerrillas, who operate out of bases in northern Iraq. Kurds are large minorities in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria.The five Kurdish activists were convicted in 2008.

They were hanged after a Supreme Court upheld their death sentences.IRNA said three of them were founders of PJAK group in Iran and were also involved in bombings that killed members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, an elite force that is separate from Iran's regular armed forces.Four of the five were accused of involvement in a mosque bombing in the central city of Shiraz in 2008 which killed 14 people.
Like Iraq and Turkey, Iran has a large Kurdish minority, mainly living in the Islamic Republic's northwest and west. The United States in February 2009 also branded PJAK as a terrorist organisation.

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