Update to IRN29342.E of 15 May 1998; information on Komala, a Kurdish Party in Kurdistan, Iran; its activities inside and outside Iran; radio broadcasts, magazines and political publications; names of its leaders, branches; treatment of its members by the government [IRN38663.E]

According to the Federation of American Scientists' (FAS) Intelligence Resource Program:

Komala (or Komaleh) was founded in 1969, and led by Ibrahim Alizadeh. The name of the party is variously reported to stand for Komala lidni Kurdistan [Council on Rebirth of Kurdistan] or Komalay Shoreshgeri Zahmatkeshani Kurdistani Iran [Organization of Revolutionary Toilers of Iranian Kurdistan]. The group favours autonomy for the Kurds in Iran. It cooperated briefly with the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran. The group has reportedly waged guerrilla warfare against government forces since 1979 with the aim of achieving Kurdish autonomy, and as of 1992 was said to be primarily active in the Sanandadj region (8 Aug. 1998).

Komala(h)'s Internet Website provides information on the group's political program, tactics, political struggle, relations with other Kurdish groups and organizing elements (n.d.a.). The Website mentions 'Takish', a "clandestine organisation centre" which invites members of Komala in Iran to meeting points abroad such as Iraqi Kurdistan or Europe (ibid. n.d.b.). Komala publishes the monthly political magazine Peshraw and the literary magazine Peshang (ibid.). Komala broadcasts in Farsi and Kurdish for three and a half hours daily (ibid.) through the 'Voice of the Communist Party of Iran', which was broadcasting in November 2001 (Clandestine Radio 7 Feb. 2002). The broadcast has been active since 1983 and maintains a mailing address and phone number in Sweden (ibid.).

Komala still maintains the Peshmerga Force, which consists of "small guerrilla groups who live secretly inside Kurdistan" (Komalah n.d.b.). Two camps inside Iraqi Kurdistan contain Komala's executive committee, clandestine organization centre, radio broadcasting, printing, health centre and military training centre (ibid.).

Komala's last congress was held in July 2001; its central committee consists of 23 members with three provisional members, as well as a seven-person elected political bureau (ibid., n.d.e.). As of July 2001, the spokesperson and first secretary of Komala was Ebrahim Alizadeh (ibid., n.d.d.).

According to the Senior Program Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, in reference to the political climate in Iran shortly after the revolution:

In common with many political movements in Iran which did not support the primacy of the Shi'a clergy in the new republic, Kurdish political movements, notably the KDPI and the leftist Komala, soon faced severe oppression from central authorities including mass arrests and summary executions. ... In common with other secular parties, the KDPI and Komala were banned and their supporters and sympathizers were hunted down as enemies of the state (Apr. 2000).

In November 1999, Kurdish Media reported the assassination of Komala member Abdullah Mushir Panhani in Irbil by unknown agents (RFE/RL 27 Nov. 1999). RFE described Komala as a broader Iranian organization which had replaced the defunct Tudah Party (ibid.). Quoting Kurdish Media, RFE further stated that "after Baghdad lost control of parts of Iraqi Kurdistan, Komala, like many other Kurdish opposition groups, moved into the Kurdish self-rule area" and "many activists were assassinated" (ibid.).

In February 2000, Kurdish Media reported that a Komala Day was scheduled for 19 February 2000 in Toronto (16 Feb. 2000). The coordinator of the celebration was Osman K (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Clandestine Radio. 7 February 2002. "Voice of the Communist Party of Iran." http://www.clandestineradio.com/intel/iran.htm [Accessed 22 Feb. 2002]

Federation of American Scientists (FAS). 8 August 1998. "Komala." http://www.fas.org/irp/world/para/komala.htm [Accessed 21 Feb. 2002]

Komalah. n.d.a. "Political Program." http://www.komalah.org/en/prog.htm Last modified 15 July 2001. [Accessed 21 Feb. 2002]

_____. n.d.b. "Tactics and Political Struggle." http://www.komalah.org/en/tactic.htm Last modified 15 July 2001. [Accessed 21 Feb. 2002]

_____. n.d.c. "Relations with Iranian Kurdistan Political Parties." http://www.komalah.org/en/relation.htm Last modified 15 July 2001. [Accessed 21 Feb. 2002]

_____. n.d.d. "Organizing Elements and Komalah Formation Chart." http://www.komalah.org/en/org.htm Last modified 15 July 2001. [Accessed 21 Feb. 2002]

_____. n.d.e. "Komalah and its Politics." http://www.komalah.org/english/engl/history.htm [Accessed 22 Feb. 2002]

Kurdish Media. 16 February 2000. Saîd Kakeyî. "Komala Day to be Celebrated in Canada." http://www.kurdishmedia.com/news/news16_02.htm [Accessed 22 Feb. 2002]

Lawyers Committee for Human Rights. April 2000. Neil Hicks (Senior Program Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa). "The Human Rights of Kurds in the Islamic Republic of Iran." http://www.american.edu/academic.depts/acainst/cgp/hicks.pdf [Accessed 22 Feb. 2002]

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) Newsline. 27 November 1999. Vol.2, No.43. "Iranian Kurdish Activist Assassinated in Irbil." http://www.rferl.org/iraq-report/1999/11/43-271199.html [Accessed 22 Feb. 2002]

Additional Sources Consulted

World News Connection (WNC)

Internet sites including:

Amnesty International

Human Rights Watch

Institut Kurde de Paris

Kurdish Human Rights Project



U.S. Department of State

Washington Kurdish Institute