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Woman jailed for 10 years by Iranian regime for teaching Kurdish

IRAN’S clerical regime has been urged to stop persecuting minorities after it sentenced a woman to 10 years in prison earlier this week for teaching Kurdish.

Zahra Mohammadi, who is the director of the Nojin Cultural Association in Iran’s Kurdistan province, was charged with founding “an anti-state group,” according to the Kurdish human-rights organisation Hengaw.

She was first detained along with two other members of the association in May 2019 by the Iranian intelligence services, accused of working with a banned opposition party, before being released on bail in December.

Her lawyers confirmed that Ms Mohammadi was jailed on Tuesday, for her work teaching Kurdish children their native tongue and for having been involved in other cultural activities.

“The verdict was imposed by the 1st branch of the Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj on charges that Zahra Mohammadi had founded an anti-state group,” a Hengaw report said.

“Apart from the cultural organisation Nojin, in which [she] was involved seven years ago and is active as a board member, there are no other organisations or groups that can be associated with Zahra Mohammadi,” it added.

There are around 12 million Kurds in Iran, forming around 17 per cent of the population.  

While Kurdish culture, such as dress and music, is allowed and the language is used in some broadcasts and publications, the Kurdish minority continues to suffer deep-rooted discrimination.

Two Kurdish men, Diaku Rasoulzadeh and Saber Sheikh Abdollah, were hanged in West Azerbaijan on Monday, accused of a deadly attack in Mahabad in 2010. But their lawyer said there was no evidence and their convictions were based on confessions elicited through torture.

A global social-media campaign appears to have halted the planned executions of three men, Saeed Tamjidi, Mohammad Rajabi and Amirhossein Moradi, who were charged for their role in anti-government protests last November.

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