Refugee activists released
New York, June 3, 1999: The International Federation of Iranian Refugees
(IFIR) is pleased to announce the release of Habibollah Abdullahi, the
IFIR Erbil branch representative, and Abdullah Veissi, a member of that
branch's Executive Committee. Abdullahi and Veissi had
been arrested by the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) of Iraq on May
30, 1999. The pretext given for the arrests was IFIR's "illegal activities."
In reality, however, it was IFIR's successful efforts in organizing the
protests of Iranian refugees that prompted the KDP of Iraq to detain IFIR's
activists and deem its activities illegal.
International support was instrumental in gaining their freedom. The
two were released to a mission comprising of representatives of the IFIR
Secretariat (Yedi Mahmoudi), the International Committee of the Red Cross
(ICRC), and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The international solidarity was so extensive that surprised officials
asked who the two were to receive such an outpouring of support. IFIR congratulates
all individuals, groups and bodies who responded to its campaign and obtained
the immediate and unconditional release of its refugee rights activists.
For more information, contact IFIR, GPO, P. O. Box 7051, New York, NY
10116, USA. Tel: 212-747-1046. Fax: 212-425-7260. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.