Kurdish Political Prisoners Under Intense Pressure to “Cooperate” at Orumiyeh Prison
Syrian citizen Evin Molood Sheikhoo, 28, and Turkish citizen Ghedisseh Ghaderi, 25, are each serving seven-year sentences on charges of “cooperation with the Kurdish group PKK.” According to the local human rights activist, Intelligence Office interrogators routinely summon the two women to the Orumiyeh Prison Intelligence Unit or to the Women’s Ward Social Worker’s office, interrogate them about their prior cooperation with Kurdish groups, and pressure them to cooperate with the Intelligence Ministry to identify PKK organizers and supporters in the border region. The interrogations are reportedly accompanied by disrespect and threats of new judicial cases against the two women.
“Evin Molood Sheikhoo, a Syrian Kurd from Afrain in Syria’s Kurdistan, was arrested in Orumiyeh in February of 2009 by [Iranian] Intelligence Office forces. She was kept in the Intelligence Office’s Information Unit Detention Center for three months under interrogation, psychological torture, and even physical beatings. After that she was transferred to the Orumiyeh Central Prison’s Women’s Ward, and— without access to a lawyer—the Orumiyeh Revolutionary Court sentenced her to seven years in prison. After she appealed the ruling, the case was forwarded to the Western Azarbaijan Province Appeals Court and was upheld in full,” the local activist told the Campaign.
“Ghedisseh Ghaderi . . . is a Turkish Kurd from Van in the Kurdistan region of Turkey. She was arrested in the spring of 2011 in Orumiyeh and was held inside the [Iranian] Information Unit Detention Center for more than two months. The Intelligence Office interrogators subjected her to psychological and physical torture in order to force her to confess, to the point where after transferring her to Orumiyeh Prison she was unable to eat food or move for two weeks. The Orumiyeh Revolutionary Court later sentenced the political prisoner to 10 years in prison on charges of ‘cooperation with PKK,’ and after she appealed the decision, the Appeals Court reduced her prison sentence to seven years,” the human rights activist told the Campaign.