PDKI Commend the Kurdish Nation’s Role in the Relief Effort Following the Earthquake
In a statement, the PDKI commend the Kurdish people for their role in the relief effort following the earthquake in eastern (Iranian) Kurdistan, which hit the Kermashan province hardest.
According to official figures provided by the Iranian regime, the accuracy of which can be questioned and most likely deliberately underestimate the extent of the catastrophe, 500 Kurdish civilians have died and 10,000 others were injured after earthquake in eastern Kurdistan. In addition, 12,000 buildings were reduced to rubble.
The Iranian regime, true to its authoritarian and anti-Kurdish nature, not only turned down international offers of aid for the victims, but its paramilitary forces, which constitute a security threat to the Kurdish people, confiscated donations and in some instances used violence against the victims of the earthquake. Hundreds of videos and witness statements were published on social media which revealed that the Iranian regime was not helping the earthquake victims.
More than 70,000 people are without shelter and living outdoors in bitterly cold temperatures. Yet, the Iranian regime persists in turning down international assistance.
The Iranian regime also moved to make sure that international media outlets do not cover the human tragedy in Kurdistan. The few reports that appeared in international press omitted any reference to the Kurdish identity of the victims and described them in the abstract as “Iranian citizens”. They were also biased reports in that they solely accounted for the propaganda of the regime and left out any references to the fact that the Kurdish people were living under miserable conditions even prior to the earthquake and that Kurds are systematically oppressed by the Iranian state.
All over Kurdistan, a massive relief effort was organized to help the victims in Kermashan. In addition to the relief effort, the Kurdish people in eastern Kurdistan staged peaceful demonstrations to express solidarity with the victims, but also to denounce the anti-Kurdish regime in Tehran.
Protesters all over Kurdistan chanted, among other things, “Kermashan is Rojhelat [i.e. eastern Kurdistan], Kurdistan is one country!” in an effort to debunk Iranian propaganda.
The death of an old man from the Kurdish city of Bokan, Abobaker Marofi, became a national symbol of solidarity and unity in eastern Kurdistan. Mr. Marofi was on his way to Kermashan with aid in his van when he died in a car accident. Following his death, a funeral procession was organized from Kermashan to his hometown Bokan. Several hundred thousands of Kurds paid their respect to Mr. Marofi in different Kurdish cities. At the same time Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards tried to kidnap the corps of Mr. Marofi once the funeral procession reached the Kurdish of Sna (Sanandej), but were prevented from doing so by Kurdish civilians.
Meanwhile, the Kurdish people in other parts of Kurdistan made generous donations to the victims of the earthquake.
In its statement, PDKI commend the Kurdish nation in all parts of Kurdistan for their role in the relief effort and underlines the political significance of the national solidarity manifested by all segments and quarters of Kurdish society.
PDKI also calls upon the Kurdish people to continue helping the victims of the earthquake