IN-PICTURES: Fighters of armed group opposed to Iran: PJAK
Fighters of the PKK-affiliated Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK) are stationed on the border areas between the Kurdistan Region and Iran.
They are one of several armed Kurdish groups stationed on the border and who oppose the Iranian state.
PJAK and other groups call for greater national and cultural rights for the people of Kurdistan in Iran, located in the north and northwestern part of the country. One such demand is an autonomous region for the Kurds within a democratic secular Iran.
PJAK has been less active in the last two years in their armed struggle against the Iranian security forces compared to other groups such as the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI).
The party however claimed that they killed at least 32 Iranian security forces and affiliated “mercenaries” last October in retaliation for the killing of 12 of its fighters.
Last summer, five PJAK fighters were killed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the Sardasht region in Iran.
PJAK and Tehran reportedly reached a ceasefire agreement in 2011 after Iran agreed to stop executing Kurdish political prisoners if PJAK ceased its attacks.
In 2014, the group formed the Democratic Community and a Free Rojhelat (KODAR) and adopted a system of co-chairmanship with a special focus on women’s rights and democratic autonomy for Iranian Kurds.
Photos by AFP/Safin Hamed