The Kurdish nation is one of the oldest nations in the Mesopotamia, a place that is known as the locus of the primary intellectual revolution and the creator of the foremost of human achievements. The archaeological evidences suggest that the agricultural revolution took place in Kurdistan and underlying all the following developments: throughout the history of Mesopotamia, the Kurdish nation has been effective contributor to the human progresses and developments; its perpetual desire has been a peaceful co-existence and brotherhood with other nations. Despite the religious multiplicity and the plurality of ideology among the Kurds as well as the other nations in the region, the Kurdish nation has not regarded this issue as a pretext to refuse co-existence with others and has managed to play its role effectively in the history of the human race.
Until the new era of the emergence of capitalism, the Kurdish nation had kept up with the approaches as mentioned above. But in the current era, both the new life style and hegemonic powers with their own agendas and policies have contributed to the abolishment of this historical co-existence. Colonialism and new international relationships have created new issues and problems. The Kurdish nation has suffered from colonialization, Diasporas, genocide and forced assimilation policies that are unique in the history. The Kurdish homeland has suffered from division and devastation; Kurdish language, Kurdish culture and history have faced annihilation. Historic events prove that these were the results of systematic pre-planned strategies carried out with the intentions to annihilate the Kurdish people.
In 1639 Kurdistan was divided between Iran and Turkey following the endorsement of the Treaty of Qasry Shirin between the Ottomans and the Persians. The Kurdish nation has been in a continuous struggle against these states from the outset. The Babanian rebellion in 1804 marked the beginning of Kurdish uprising against the occupiers of Kurdistan. Notwithstanding the Kurdish issue on the one hand faces capitalist states that seek to loot and plunder Kurdistan and on the other hand Kurdistan is occupied and oppressed by conservative reactionary states in the region that seek to maintain their classic monarchic sovereignty. The entire Kurdish struggle aims to neutralise the danger of destruction and to obviate the system of denial and annihilation that has been imposed on Kurdish culture, Language and the Kurdish beliefs.
In spite of the variety of propagation based on the separatism and dependency on various powers, the Kurdish nation has always and explicitly demanded its national rights and always sought to solve the issue through dialogue and democracy. Now the Kurds are the largest nation in the world without authority or state and they are divided between four different states in the Middle East. Due to the oppressive nature of the occupying states, they promote the policies of denial and annihilation against the Kurds. There is no reliable statistic about the precise population of the Kurds. Nonetheless according to the statistic provided by the occupying forces and the international institutions, the Kurdish population is approximately 40 to 50 millions whereof 20 to 25 million live in Northern Kurdistan (Turkey), 12 to 15 million live in Eastern Kurdistan (Iran), 6 to 7 million live in Southern Kurdistan (Iraq), 2.5 million live in Western Kurdistan (Syria) and about 2 million live in diasporas.
The Kurdish Institutions in Iran
The Kurds have sought o create a democratic system in Iran; from the outset until now they have played an important role to bring about peace, harmony and security with other nations. From the time that they overthrow the brutal kingdom of the Assyria in the ancient Mesopotamia, up till now the Kurds have played a pioneering role with inspiration from Zarathustra’s philosophy, they have always sough peaceful co-existence with the other nations in the region. Within the Iranian sovereignty there have always been provincial and regional governments which have respected the different languages, cultures, nationalities and ethnicities. Governmental authorities were in de-centralised form and this allowed peaceful co-existence between the Iranian nations. Once the Safawite dynasty came to power, the Shiite religion became the formal religion and was followed by the emergence of Capitalism to Iran and the establishment of a centralised system of government.
On both sides, the freedom of the Kurdish people was jeopardised and extensively limited. During the monarchy of Islamic Republic the history of all the combined regional people and their influences and their culture including those of the Kurds were cast aside and replaced by the monarch’s new government, religion and the rules of law. This usher into the new era of constant coercion imposed on the Kurdish nation within Iran which still exists today. Although the constitution recognised the rights to education in the mother tongue for the minorities, but in practice nothing has been done to implement those laws or to protect minorities who wish to keep their native language. This situation is getting worse in respect to religious issues.
The Sunni Kurds have faced humiliation and injustice. Efforts have been made to separate the Shiite Kurds from the Sunni Kurds and to impose assimilation policies on both. Meanwhile, sovereign and suppressive national policies have been severely implemented; consequently being a Kurd has been regarded as a crime or something sinful. Theocracy and oppression is the core centre of the Iranian Government. In the governmental and official institutions the discrimination has reached the highest level. During the administration of the Islamic Republic religious decrees were announced for the Kurds or Sunni Muslims and they were treated as infidels. During the Iran-Iraq war many arbitrary arrest and mass execution and extra-judicial killing took place.
The Kurds continue to suffer multiple violations of their foremost fundamental rights under the current regime. During its rule over Iran for more than two decades the Islamic Republic implemented a series of discriminatory policies in the economic, political, cultural, social and religious sphere that have brought about widespread injustice including unemployment, poverty and forced migrations. Drug addict especially among the young generation, which was an unheard phenomena twenty ago, now has reached endemic proportions. At the present time, the Iranian regime seeks to annihilate the Kurdish nation and it responds to the democratic appeal of our people with arbitrary arrest, long term imprisonments torture and terror instead of finding a civil and peaceful solution to the problems. Every year hundreds of Kurdish youths are arbitrarily charged with political crime and due to the lack of freedom of speech, the youths are sent into prisons where they get tortured and executed. During these situations our nation has encountered a unique brutal treatment, while the Kurdish traditional movements in the Eastern Kurdistan have been eliminated, neutralised and sidelined to the Southern Kurdistan where they now live in refugee camps; they have become passive and separated from the Kurdish masses in the Eastern Kurdistan.
The Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK) has emerged with the ideology of democratic liberation with the goal to set up a democratic system in Iran and to create a democratic self-rule for the Kurds in the Eastern Kurdistan (Iran). The PJAK accepts and envisages the ecological-democratic society and gender equality as the fundamental column of its ideology. Its initial goal is to limit and change the authority of and domination of the Islamic Republic of Iran and to democratise it in four fundamental areas; the nation, the society, the citizenship and to evolve the state into a self-governing institution which is able to deliver public services, to maintain public security that would be synonymous to public authority.
For the past 6 years PJAK has been the most influential organisation of the Kurdish population. It has the strongest popular support in the Eastern Kurdistan and it has the most oppositional body in Iran. Three particular dynamics forces namely the women, students and the youths have joined PJAK with the goal of transforming the society. PJAK has become the manifestation of the people’s demand for their rights; it re-structured the Kurdish movement with ideological awareness, educated its members and raised the level of the intelligence and the political knowledge of the people in the Eastern Kurdistan.
PJAK‘s aims are:
1. To find out a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue within the framework of Democratic Con-federalism for the Kurds without any change to the current borders.
2. To protect the value of the nation and to organise the people; within the framework of legitimate self-defence to erase the influence of the feudal system.
3. To promote a free and democratic life in Eastern Kurdistan.
4. Struggle against all the policies and the institutions which seek to eliminate Kurdish culture and national identity.
5. Struggle to obtain the rights and freedom of all social classes.
6. Organise a democratic society.
7. Struggle against the mentality as well as the political and social relations of the patriarchal oppressive system.
8. Re-establish the identity and the freedom of women.
9. Develop the democratic relations with the Kurds of other parts of Kurdistan in respects of national rights and the principles of Democratic Con-federalism.
10. Build free relations among the different nations of Iran and the democratic movements of the region in order to achieve Democratic Con-federalism in the Middle East.
The Organisational Structure of the PJAK
A democratic ideology and the achievement of freedom for the Kurds along with all the Iranian nations are our main goals. The PJAK has been striving to achieve and fulfil these aims and objectives. The party has organised itself in accordance with the needs and the requirements of the Kurdish and Iranian society; it is comprised of different sub-organisations including; The Union of the Women of Eastern Kurdistan (YJRK), The Organisation of the Youths of Eastern Kurdistan (KCR), The Democratic Press Union, The Defensive Forces of Eastern Kurdistan (HRK) and The Political Diplomatic Committee.
The Union of the Eastern Kurdistan Women (YJRK)
The Iranian constitution is conservative, patriarchal and is based on laws and regulations that marginalize women and treat them as inferior and defective. They are subjected to injustice and highly vicious discrimination in all political, cultural and economic realms. In accordance with the constitution two women are equal to one man; they are worth as half a man, but in the practical term the constitution is even worse. YJRK is based on the philosophy of the freedom and emancipation of women from the Middle Eastern cultural norms. It endeavours to organise women and engage them in the deeds in accordance with their characteristic, ability and female traits in order to obviate all these injustice. In the Union of the Eastern Kurdistan Women, the women are engaged in all aspects of management and decision-making process. It should be noted that women make up over 40 percent of the administration of PJAK.
The Youth Organisation of Eastern Kurdistan (KCR)
Iran is a country with one of the youngest population in the world. More than half of the Iranian population are young, but the Iranian official system has not adequately provided a clear definition of youthsness, what their needs are and what they should be involved in. Instead, Iran opposes the idea that the young generation should be taking more initiative; instead of becoming a potential for the future, the youths have trapped in social crisis. Unemployment, lack of freedom of expression and lack of institutions allocated for their needs are only the tip of iceberg. Most of the youths are disappointed, frustrated and have become dissident and seek the fundamental changes within this system because there is no logical project or strategy to direct the youths in a healthy and progressive way. The Iranian regime is very rigid and dogmatic in this respect. In order to prevent any possible opposition and to neutralise the potential of the youths, the Iranian regime, broadly promotes corruption as well as prostitution and the use of the addictive drugs as the primary entertainment for the youths.
The Iranian regime has also taken the advantage of unemployment rate in a widespread and appalling way by offering the youngsters unemployment as mercenaries. The most essential function of the KCR in Iran and the Eastern Kurdistan is the education of the youths on the basis of knowledge, self-development; their circumstance and their social realities. In this respect, along with the organisation of the youths in a variety of areas, the PJAK doesn’t only seek to prevent the psychological, social and moral damages done to our youths, but it also strives to include them in youth institutions to develop them to become the contributing factors for the future of human kind. Iran is a despotic state with dogmatic camouflage, which holds only one ideology. A high level of censorship is imposed on the reflection of the knowledge and information. In respect to education and knowledge substantial impotency can be seen and the freedom of speech has been limited to a dreadful level; currently many intellectuals and thinkers are imprisoned, tortured and sentenced to death. Due to the sever restriction and the narrow mindedness of the system, the Iranian and the Kurdish culture and history have been dragged into a corruptive direction and a narrow-minded interpretation is enforced on the people. Iran is an obstructed society in which the people are deprived from daily progress and developments.
The Democratic Press Union
Our party endeavours to set up a free and democratic society. A free and democratic society requires a free and democratic mindset. In this respect, The Democratic Press Union, in order to achieve these goals, believe in free thinking and regards the plurality of thoughts as the richness and the bases of democracy and the requirements for the construction of a democratic culture. It regards education as indispensible condition and we also believe that every single individual with any kind of mindset or ideology should be able to put forward his or her own ideas with their own issues. The unity and co-existence is possible through the means of dialogue, free press and the free media.
The Defence Forces of Eastern Kurdistan (HRK)
The Iranian regime has not only sufficed with the imposition of physical and psychological cruelty and the injustice subjected on women, youths, intellectuals and other social classes in the society, but it has also subjected the entire Iranian people to a vicious suppression. Throughout the history of the Iranian regime our people has been faced with mass killings and genocide. Currently and since the hard line Islamic ways of Ahmadinejad achieved the power, the coercion of the Iranian regime has reached the peak. Every year an enormous number of people are killed under different pretexts such as opposing the clerical rule and the Islamic definition of faiths. PJAK does not believe in the military form of struggle as the main directive for the solution of the Kurdish issue and the establishment of democracy. The forms of its struggle and activities are through democratic means and based on the organisation of the masses of the people. Nonetheless when we are hindered from carrying out our democratic activities and when we are prevented from organising our people, when the mass killings and the destruction of our identity and our people is enforced, the Defence Forces of Eastern Kurdistan will shield and protect our nation and within the framework of the self-defence would take appropriate actions.
It is necessary to put into practise the strategy of self-defence in the political, cultural, economic, environmental and if need be in military tactics. We will avail of the legitimate right of self-defence until the democratic aims and the interests of our people are reached. Therefore the legitimate self-defence in the forms of civil disobedience, mass protest, as well as intrinsic and natural defences will be carried out. One type of legitimate self-defence could be in the form of military tactic, but the intensity of it would be decided by the violence and the coercion carried out against our people. It should be noted that legitimate self-defence has the fundamental differences with the strategy of military warfare and it has also a separate philosophical ground and perspective. Legitimate self-defence would automatically lose the necessity for its existence once democracy is implemented and secured in society and the legitimate mechanisms for the natural defence of society are created. The Forces of Eastern Kurdistan (Hezi Rojhelati Kurdistan- HRK) is an independent and autonomous military force, a separated organ from the political branch. It is established to follow and implement the policies, strategies and directions of PJAK’s political goals and programs.
Political and Diplomatic Committee
A peaceful political solution to the Kurdish issue in the Eastern Kurdistan through dialogue and negotiation is the first political choice for PJAK. The goal is to mobilize and unite the Kurds and the Iranian opposition in a wide democratic front to change the regime in this country and to establish a democratic con-federal system in Iran. The support of the international democratic community is an essential factor in our struggle to achieve our goals. Our political and diplomatic policies are directed at the local, regional and international levels. Our mission is to seek alliance and to establish good relationship with the democratic powers and groups who are interested in the democratisation of Iran, human rights, peace and freedom.
In order to achieve these goals, a wide democratic front and cooperation between the Kurdish and the Iranian opposition is required. From the outset of PJAK’s establishment up to date, we have sought to build a front and to cooperate with all groups and parties. Up to date, we have put emphasis on this issue and we will keep making efforts in order to achieve our goals and objectives. The political and Diplomatic Committee of our party has been significantly active in this respect and has reached an outstanding outcome. The current repression against the Kurdish civilians requires an effective international intervention. In order to stop the potential bloodshed, the killing of the Kurds and the other ethnic groups by the Iranian regime has to be stopped as soon as possible.