Expatriate Kurds in Paris staged a demonstration on Friday (24 August) outside the Iranian Embassy.?
GV TILT DOWN Church with banner outside
CU INTERIOR Transistor PAN TO demonstrators sitting on floor
CU Demonstrators' spokesman speaking in French
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Background: Expatriate Kurds in Paris staged a demonstration on Friday (24 August) outside the Iranian Embassy. The purpose was to draw attention to the struggle between the Kurds and followers of the Ayatollah Khomeini. It was a low-key demonstration compared with the heavy fighting their compatriots are waging with the army and revolutionary guards of the Ayatollah. The demonstrators say that the Ayatollah is stripping the Iranian people of their rights and that he has initiated the recent fighting in order to exterminate the Kurdish tribes.
SYNOPSIS: The banner-waving crowd was peaceful, some shouting "Free our prison comrades".
The Ayatollah Khomeini is not the first ruler to have to deal with the Kurds. The tribes have occupied the Zagros mountain range since prehistoric times, and have always resisted subjugation -- whoever the ruler.
A spokesman for the demonstrators pointed out that the modern Kurds have been struggling for independence since the beginning of the century. He said the had expected that with the departure of the Shah, they would certainly win their independence. But they were wrong. He said that the Ayatollah is attacking not only the Kurds, but all progressive movements, secular and democratic, and prohibiting all newspapers that call for liberty. Most Kurds are Sunni Moslems, having been converted to Islam in the seventh century. This puts...them at odds with the ruling clergy in Iran which is Shi'ite.
Records of the Ottoman and Persian empires have frequent references to uprisings in the Kurdish region. The soldiers of many armies have attested to the proud, fierce and courageous nature of the mountain people who refuse to be dominated by whatever they consider to be a foreign power. Over the years, the mountain strongholds of Kurdistan have been invincible to ground attack. But in the current fighting, attack is coming from the air, with the Ayatollah's forces using helicopters and fighter aircraft.
The spokesman said that even though the military odds are against them, many Kurdish families have sold personal belongings to buy arms.