• The Islamic Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced a prominent British-Kurdish anthropologist named Kameel Ahmady to eight years in prison for “collaboration with a hostile government” on Monday. Ahmady, who studies gender roles, ethnic minorities, and child labor in Iran, was initially arrested in August 2019 and jailed for three months before being granted bail. At the same time, the Iranian regime continued its ongoing crackdown on Kurdish political activity by arresting seven Kurds in Baneh on Wednesday named Baqi Mahmud, Sarhad Salihi, Kazem Khedri, Ibrahim Shoryani, Rahman Shadni, Rebwas Suri, and Zanko Rahmati. Moreover, Iranian authorities detained two Kurdish siblings, Shukar Jabarwand and Kamil Jabarwand, for “cooperation with a Kurdish party against the Islamic Republic” in Urmia. The Iranian regime has now arrested 253 Kurdish activists in 2020.

  • According to the Kurdistan Human Rights Association (KMMK), political prisoners in Urmia’s main prison launched a hunger strike to protest judges’ ongoing failure to respond to requests for parole and probation. Concurrently, Iran’s political prisoners continue to be denied the temporary releases that the regime has granted some inmates to combat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
  • Three Kurdish borders (Kolbars) were wounded last week, with Iranian border guards wounding a Kolbar named Samir Elahi near Nowsud last Tuesday and another named Ezzat Mohammadi near Paveh on Wednesday. Simultaneously, a Kolbar named Abbas Ibrahimi was injured by a mine explosion in the Hawraman region.


  • Anti-Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) protests continued for several days in Sulaymaniah Governorate last week and have resulted in the deaths of nine protesters, the killing of a Peshmerga colonel in the governorate’s Dukan District, and the burning of government buildings and political offices in Sulaymaniyah city, Ranaya, Dukan, Kalar, Halabja, and Kifri. At least 60 protesters were also arrested. Meanwhile, the KRG continues to hold talks with the Government of Iraq (GOI) regarding its share of the federal budget and ongoing delays in the payment of public employee salaries in Iraqi Kurdistan that have fueled the protests. Deputy Prime Minister of Kurdistan Region Government Qubad Talibani, during a press conference in Baghdad, stressed talks between the KRG and GOI are ongoing and that the KRG is willing to exchange domestic income and oil production for its share of the federal budget. The ongoing Baghdad-Erbil dispute began when Prime Minister of Iraq Nouri al Maliki cut the KRG’s budget in 2014.
  • Kurdish residents of Kirkuk Governorate’s Palkana village refused to hand over their homes and land to imported Arab tribes and defied the commander of Iraqi military forces in the governorate’s demand they hand over half of the area to the imported Arabs within three days. Concurrently, Iraqi security forces briefly detained four Kurdish journalists attempting to cover ongoing developments in the villages. The most recent Arabization campaign in Kirkuk began on October 16, 2017, when Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed militias seized control of the governorate in response to the Kurdish independence referendum.
  • The Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) formed a new unit consisting of approximately 150 Kurds in Kirkuk last week. Meanwhile, ISIS (Da’esh) terrorists set two wells ablaze in a small oil field west of Kirkuk.
  • Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) forces clashed with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) near a Peshmerga checkpoint in Duhok Governorate’s Amedi District on Sunday. One Peshmerga was killed and three PKK members were severely wounded in the skirmish. Simultaneously, Turkey continued to conduct airstrikes in Iraqi Kurdistan that it claims are targeting the PKK, though such strikes have killed dozens of civilians and displaced thousands.


  • Syria’s Kurdish and Christian parties denounced Syrian President Bashar Assad’s remarks given during a meeting with the nation’s Ministry of Endowments that reaffirmed Syria’s status as an Islamic and Arab country and claimed “modern liberalism” was fighting Arabism, describing them as a “denial of the prevailing diversity existing in Syria.” The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) responded by releasing a statement that read, “Denying the right of any nations and components in Syria abolishes its societal, cultural and religious richness.”
  • Turkey and its proxies launched intermittent attacks on Ain Essa and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) for the fourth week in a row in an attempt to seize control of the strategic M4 Motorway, which would isolate Kobane from AANES-administered territory in northeastern Syria. Moreover, northeastern Syria’s Kurds remain fearful of a new Russia-Turkey deal that would facilitate another Turkish invasion of the region, though SDF commander Ziad Halap claimed the SDF was “ready to repel any attack.”
  • The SDF announced it captured three Da’esh terrorists on Thursday in a US-supported raid in Deir Ez Zor Governorate. At the same time, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported Da’esh members demanded zakat from oil refinery workers in Deir Ez Zor Governorate’s al Tayanna town.
  • Turkish proxies occupying the Allouk water station near Sari Kani (Ras al-Ain) shut off the region’s water supply again last week. The AANES denounced the move and called it “biological extermination”. The United Nations previously rejected such tactics and claimed they affected at least 460,000 people.
  • Unknown gunmen fired at the Syrian Kurdish National Council office (KNC) in al Darbasiya on Monday. Though SDF General Commander Mazloum Abdi denounced the attack, it is liable to hinder Kurdish unity talks in northeastern Syria.


  • The Turkish government continued its campaign against Kurdish political rights by arresting more politicians and activists, including senior Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) member Meryem Adibelli in Ankara on Saturday. Turkish police also arrested three people in Adana, three more in Mersin, five in Mus, and six in Cizre, most of whom were accused of “membership of a terrorist organization.” Concurrently, a Turkish court in Diyarbakir (Amed) sentenced the deposed mayor of the Kocaköy District, Rojda Nazlıer, to nine years in prison for “membership in a terrorist organization.” Furthermore, the Turkish Ministry of Interior sacked HDP member and speaker of the city council in Ağrı Province’s Doğubayazıt District, Hamide Turan. At the same time, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey is set to rescind the legislative immunity of 17 more HDP lawmakers.

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