Protesters outside the Iranian Embassy in Berlin. Photo: Enno Lenze
MAINZ, Germany – Kurds in Germany gathered at different rallies in the German capital Berlin Saturday in solidarity with Kurdish protests in Iran that were triggered by the unexplained death of a hotel chambermaid.
Dozens of Kurds from all parts of Kurdistan protested outside the Iranian Embassy in Berlin, calling for an end to injustice and discrimination against Kurds in predominantly Shiite Iran.
The demonstrations, called by pro-Kurdish organizations, accused Iran’s theocratic government of discriminating against Kurds, who are predominantly Sunni and live in some of Iran’s poorest regions.
Days of civil unrest in the Iranian Kurdish region of Mahabad erupted Thursday over the death of 25-year-old Farinaz Khosrawani, who was killed by falling from the fourth floor of a hotel.
Anti-government media and Kurdish protesters claim she jumped to her death to avoid the sexual advances of an Iranian army officer who was allegedly working in cooperation with the hotel's owner --- accusations unconfirmed by Rudaw.
The unrest escalated Saturday, spreading to the Kurdish city of Sardasht, after Iranian police attacked hundreds gathering in support of fellow Kurds in Mahabad, where at least one protester was in critical condition following the police crackdown.
At rallies in Berlin, demonstrators shouted slogans like “Long live Kurdistan” and “Freedom for Syria” – an apparent reference to Iranian support for Syria’s embattled regime.
Azad Efrin, who has roots in Syrian Kurdistan said he hoped that the Mahabad protests are the beginning of change in Iran.
“I hope that Farinaz’s bravery will be the beginning of a revolution in Rojhelat, and that all parts of Kurdistan will strongly support their fellow Kurds in the east to end the oppression of the Iranian regime,” he said.
“The revolution in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan) started just like this,” said Hozan Murad, another demonstrator. “Some small demonstrations led to freedom for millions of Kurds in Syria,” he said, referring to a Kurdish declaration of autonomy by Kurds in Syria. “I am here to support my fellow Kurds in Rojhelat. We are all Mahabad.”
At another rally in Berlin, about a hundred Kurds gathered at the Brandenburg Gate and shouted slogans in support of the protestors in Iran.
Firat Bokhti, a Kurd with roots in Turkey, said there was no difference between Kurds in Iran or anywhere else.
“We Kurds have to stand together and support all regions of our home. I demand that the Iranian regime stop its atrocities against the Kurdish population” in Iran, he said.