Missing HDP politician from Ağrı detained in Iran

Mehmet Birdal, a local HDP politician from Ağrı who has been missing since August, is being held in an Iranian prison in the Urmia city of East Kurdistan. He is accused of PKK membership and has no contact with his family or legal counsel.

The Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) announced that missing HDP local politician Mehmet Birdal from Ağrı is in prison in the Urmia city of East Kurdistan. According to the report, the Iranian authorities justify the detention with the accusation of membership in the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Birdal is a member of the Ağrı provincial council. More than two months ago, he flew from Istanbul to the Iranian capital Tehran for a business trip. On Aug. 23, he called his family from the Iran-Turkey state border to say he was returning to Ağrı via the Barzargan-Gürbulak border crossing near Doğubayazıt district. However, Birdal did not show up at his place of residence.

According to KHRN, Mehmet Birdal was arrested at the border and taken to a detention and internment center run by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in the city of Urmia, over 300 kilometers away. He was interrogated there for several weeks by the regime's intelligence service, he said, and was not transferred to the Urmia Central Prison until October 16. Currently, the politician is being held at the prison's quarantine station, according to KHRN. He has been denied contact with his family or legal counsel by the prison administration.