Kurds protest in Iran after young woman jumps to death
TEHRAN - Hundreds of Kurds protested in front of a hotel and burned it in the Iranian city of Mahabad on Thursday, following the suicide of a female employee of the hotel who was believed to have jumped to her death in order to escape the rape attempts of an Iranian intelligence officer, according to a report in ARA News, an independent Syrian news agency.
According to the report, security forces fired live bullets at the protesters and blocked off roads in the city leading to the protest site.
The protesters claim local authorities failed to properly investigate Farinaz Khosrawani’s death, alleging she died after the hotel’s guard attempted to rape her and she fled by trying to jump out of the building.
Mahabad is a predominantly Kurdish town in the northwest corner of Iran.
“She threw herself from the hotel’s balcony on the fourth floor, for fear of being captured by the Iranian officer,” sources were quoted by ARA as saying.
Mahabad’s police chief has denied this and a claim that the security guard – who is in police custody – has links to Iranian security agencies, Al Jazeera reported.
“The people must wait until the investigation results are out to find out the reason behind Khosrawani's death,” Jaafar Katani, Muhabat mayor, told Iranian news site Rudaw.
A family member told the newspaper that they were awaiting the results of the investigation – but their pronouncement appears to have done little to calm tensions in the city.
Kurdish activist Ibrahim Asaad told ARA that the Iranian regime’s practices against the Kurds “reached unbearable levels.”
“The Kurdish people in Iran have be subject to persecution and suppression by the authorities. This incident, although it seems individual, reflects the degree of brutality of security officers in Mahabad,” he said.
“This protest has been motivated by sympathy with the victim and dozens other victims who were exposed to such acts by the Iranian authorities. The Kurdish residents of Mahabad won’t stop protesting until making sure that the perpetrators are prosecuted,” Asaad told the news outlet.
The report noted that over the past few months, the Iranian authorities have executed several Kurdish activists.