Iranian Regime Arrests Two Kurdish Women
TEHRAN, Dec 17, 2007 (AFP) - Iran has charged two
women's rights activists with taking part in
"terrorist" actions and belonging to a militant
Kurdish separatist group, an investigating judge
said on Sunday.
Ronak Safarzadeh and Hana Abdi were "arrested for
acting against national security by taking part in
attacks in Sanandaj and for being members of the
militant group PJAK," the official IRNA agency
quoted the judge as saying.
The Kurdish guerrilla group PJAK (Party of Free Life
of Kurdistan), which is linked to the Kurdistan
Workers' Party (PKK) fighting the Turkish army, has
been behind a string of deadly attacks in Iranian-
occupied Kurdistan in recent months.
The judge, whose name was not reported, said that
the two women were using their activities as women's
rights activists as cover for their connections to
the separatist militants.
"Counter-revolutionary groups use civic groups to
carry out terrorist actions," he said.
The two women were part of a nationwide campaign in
Iran to collect a million signatures in favour of
changing laws in the Islamic republic which are seen
as discriminating against women.
"The arrest of these people has no link to the
million signatures campaign. They were carrying out
activities as part of the objectives of the PJAK
group," the judge said.
"People have also been arrested in Tehran for having
carried out acts in favour of PJAK under the cover
of the million signatures campaign," he added,
without giving further details.
The detention of Safarzadeh and Abdi had already
triggered concern among Western rights groups but
this was the first time their charges had been
confirmed by the Iranian authorities