Kurdish teacher sentenced to 10 years in prison by the Iranian regime
Zara Mohammadi, Kurdish civil society activist and teacher, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison by the Iranian regime.
Mohammadi is the director and co-founder of the Nojin Cultural Association, a civil society association that is focused on various societal and cultural activities, including teaching the Kurdish language and literature.
The association has branches in the Kurdish cities of Sanandaj, Kamyaran, Dehgolan, Saqqez, Baneh and so forth.
On May 23, 2019, Mohammadi and two other members of Nojin Cultural Association were arrested by Iran’s intelligence agency.
On December 2, 2019, following six months in prison, Mohammadi was released on bail. According to Amnesti International, she was charged with so-called national security offenses “solely in connection with her work empowering marginalized members of Iran’s Kurdish minority”.
On July 14, 2020, she was sentenced to 10 years in prison, as punishment for her efforts in the past 10 years to teach Kurdish children their native tongue and for having been involved in other cultural activities.
Iran has during the past four decades systematically targeted the non-Persian communities and subjected them to all sorts of oppression and violence, ranging from systematic linguistic, cultural, economic, social and political oppression to forced demographic change as well as forced assimilation.
According to Amnesty International “ethnic minorities, including Ahwazi Arabs, Azerbaijani Turks, Baluchis, Kurds and Turkmen, continued to face entrenched discrimination, curtailing their access to education, employment and adequate housing. Continued economic neglect of regions with large minority populations exacerbated poverty and marginalization. The Persian language remained the sole medium of instruction in primary and secondary education.”