Kurdish issue related articles, news etc.
Persian2English is conducting an ongoing investigation on Hiva Tab, a loose gang led by Hiva Abdol-Lahkhan (known by the name of Hiva Tab as well, a former commander of the IRGC’s Intelligence unit in the Kurdistan province of Iran) and reportedly operated by the IRGC. In 2013 the Iranian authorities reportedly executed him and nine other members of Hiva Tab.
Close, informed sources say the primary goal of this state-sponsored (yet unofficial) gang is to reportedly kill off people in Iran’s Kurdish regions who belong to ethnic, political, or religious minority groups. Its purpose is to eliminate or decrease the possibility of opposition or threat to the rule of the Islamic Republic regime.
To continue with the regime’s serial murders of Kurds and its systematic usage of death to inflict fear, Hiva Tab gang members reportedly kill innocent Iranian civilians then swap their clothing with the uniforms of Kurdish political opposition groups, namely PJAK and Komele, to give the illusion that Iranian authorities captured and killed armed rebels.
Iranian authorities then announce the deaths of these civilians as a victory for the Islamic Republic while withholding the identities of Hiva Tab and the victims they murdered.
Next, in order to seal the deal of the regime’s atrocious lie, Iran’s state-run media broadcasts the “official word” on the identities of the murdered civilians as “armed rebel fighters”.
Rahman Javanmardi, a human rights activist with the NGO Iran Human Rights tells me that the purpose of Hiva Tab killing civilians and dressing them in the uniforms of opposition groups is part of a psychological tactic practiced by Iranian authorities to give the illusion of power to Iran’s civil society and to also psyche out civilians living in the Kurdish regions of Iran to think that their opposition to the regime is pointless.
Close sources say that Hiva Tab members have reportedly also committed acts of terror on people whom they have wanted to take out for various reasons (E.g. the son of the Marivan Friday Prayer Imam mentioned below had converted to Salafism) only to later frame Kurdish Iranian citizens or activists for these murderous acts.
Zanyar and Loghman Moradi are friends who are victims of Hiva Tab’s terrorism. They are detained in Rajai Shahr Prison where they have been living in the shadow of death for the past five years. Though Iranian authorities arrested them in August 2009, they weren’t accused of assassinating the son of the Friday Prayer Imam in Marivan (a city in the province of Kurdistan in Iran) until nearly a year after their arrests.
Iranian authorities, including the Marivan Friday Prayery Imam, have reportedly no shred of valid evidence to implicate Zanyar and Loghman and are reportedly well aware that Hiva Tab is responsible for the assassination.
In order to obtain “evidence” to prove their guilt, interrogators extracted false confessions from these two political prisoners while subjecting them to long torturous hours of brutal physical abuse (including sexual assault).
For people who have not allowed the propaganda of Iran’s state-run media to cloud their judgment it is clear that Zanyar and Loghman Moradi are being used as scapegoats by the Iranian regime, because perpetrators must be identified for the assassination in question. The regime has already accused and charged Zanyar and Loghman for this crime and therefore has to either go through with the executions or find a way to change the game in its favour. The catch is that if the regime chooses to execute these two friends then the Iranian authorities will most likely face international repercussions and protests at home. If authorities choose to take the “moral route” and not execute Zanyar and Loghman for a crime they didn’t even commit in the first place, then authorities would have to find a way to spare the Islamic Republic’s image while at the same time still finding someone to hold accountable for the death of the Friday Prayer Imam’s son. The most feasible person to hold accountable would be the reported real killer, Hiva Tab, and he’s already dead. But, the crimes of Hiva Tab are dark and deep-rooted. Perhaps there are just too many skeletons in the IRGC’s closet for the regime to risk them coming out.
The Iranian authorities don’t want to admit that Hiva Tab is the real assassin mainly because that would draw international attention to the issue of IRGC brutality and new corruption. Such bad press would be a big blow to the current image of the Islamic Republic that Hassan Rouhani and his teammates have been so busy reconstructing. Rouhani is smart. He exposes bits and pieces of the IRGC’s corruption to the international public in order to keep the prying eyes of the West satisfied, at least for the time being. However, if the world began to talk about Hiva Tab and ask more questions about the IRGC’s inhumanity, then Rouhani would lose control of how much and to what the extent the international community knows about happenings in Iran. Such an outcome would have undesirable effects on Iran’s supposed moderates, at a time when they are scurrying to find new ways to flirt with the West.
Luckily, international pressure and the work of human rights activists has made it increasingly difficult for Iranian authorities to get away with openly killing civilians and at the same time still enjoy impunity at home and abroad.
Last month Zanyar and Loghman wrote a joint open letter from death row to the Friday Prayer Imam. Read a translation here. More information on Hiva Tab and Zanyar and Loghman Moradi will be published on my new blog in the coming days. Further reading: In September 2013 Persian2English published a translation of a letter from Zanyar and Loghman Moradi to Ahmed Shaheed, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Iran.