Solidarity with Refugees

The Swedish Government Intends to Deliver Fouad Velzi to the Murderers of Farzad Kamangar


Fouad was born in 1354 (1976) in Orumieh. This date coincides with the increase in organizational and propagandistic activities by Kurdish opposition groups in Iran and Iraq, which were again on the rise after the defeat of the Barazanis. Fouad’s father, like many others, was in contact with the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, which was asking for some national rights, including autonomy from the central government. Fouad’s father’s activities against the Islamic Republic continued for 14 years, and his profile became known in the region. Fouad also joined the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan in his early years, and as a member of its underground organization supported the logistics and supplies division for the Democratic Party until the date of his arrest.

The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, like some other Iranian opposition organizations, maintain armed units in the border areas with Iraqi Kurdistan. The majority of these groups, including the Worker-communist Party of Iran – Hekmatist, the Communist Party of Iran, and Komaleh, who have fought against the Islamic Republic in Kurdistan, have kept their units in the mountainous areas close to the Iranian borders, especially in the northern part of the border close to the Qandil area. Some of these organizations actively engage the Islamic Republic’s security forces inside Iranian territory; PJAK is one of these forces.

Fouad was arrested during the course of one of his assignments to bring supplies to the peshmarga forces who had bases around the Qandil area. He was detained for 2 days, tortured, mock-executed, and forced to sign a confession about his connection to “counterrevolutionary organizations and moharebin.” He was released – probably in order to keep him under surveillance & discover activist networks around him – after getting a guarantee from his father and the elder of the village that he would not engage in activities considered to be against the Islamic Republic. From that date, Fouad lived in perpetual fear of being arrested, detained, and delivered to Orumieh’s IRGC Information office. Nevertheless, he continued his activities and crossed the border on numerous occasions to meet with key members of the open peshmarga organization in his capacity as a member of the Democratic Party’s underground organization.

Fouad later learned that his trips across the border had been monitored and enough evidence had been gathered to arrest and try him. Fouad discovered this only by happenstance. Everyone in the village knew that the sister of one of Fouad’s best friends worked for the Orumieh IRGC Information Office as an informant. Fouad’s friend told him that he had seen a collection of Fouad’s pictures in his sister’s possession. The photos had been taken in the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan’s Central Headquarters inside Iraqi territory during Fouad’s visits. In these pictures, Fouad was seen along with known members of the Democratic Party’s Central Committee. The fact that the photos taken in Iraq were in the possession of his friend’s sister indicated that the IRGC Information Office in Orumieh had received them.

Fouad knew now that he could not wait any longer, given his background and the threats previously made against him. He knew that he needed to go underground or leave Iran before he was arrested. And so he did.

When the Swedish police detained Fouad a few days ago for not having a metro ticket, Fouad was preparing for a demonstration against the atrocities of the Islamic Republic in Iraqi Kurdistan – the same area where he himself was active. Fouad, who is a member of the organization Mission Free Iran (MFI) in addition to all of his other political activities with the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, works with MFI regarding refugee issues and is responsible for our unit in Orebro. Four years of Fouad’s activities against the Islamic Republic in Sweden came to a halt when he was detained and arrested. Fouad is at this moment detained in Marsta and is awaiting the outcome of his case.

Thus, we have on one side Tobias Billstrom and the Swedish government, which, pursuing a sick and explicitly anti-human policy of routing Iranian and non-Iranian political activists, goes out and gives statistics and numbers of those deported, and the difference between 2010 and 2011. They send Sweden’s shameless migration minister Billstrom to the television cameras to agitate against asylum-seekers and Swedish human rights activists, even threatening them with being beaten by the police. And on the other side of this equation is Fouad, all of us, numerous organizations advocating for the rights of the refugees, Swedish political organizations, celebrities, and individuals, standing in defense of society’s humane values, taking to streets. And with every new victory, we become stronger; with each temporary defeat, we become ever more resolute to defend humanity, the human rights of refugees, and the rights of Fouad Velzi.

Fouad, like Mitra Kahrom, like Navid, like Peyman, should not be delivered to the Islamic Republic murdereres. Fouad stays in Sweden, protected by honorable people of Sweden, to continue his political activities and struggle against the Islamic regime.


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