Stop the harassment and killing of spring harvesters in the Zagros Mountains

In the last two months, four Indigenous foragers have been murdered by Turkish bombs while collecting wild herbs in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan
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Profile images of Resûl Yunisî and Ehmed Heyderî in traditional Kurdish dress, who were murdered by Turkish drone strikes in the Zagros Mountains

The Indigenous communities of the Zagros Mountains and Mesopotamia did not build their communities around the artificial borders which have been drawn and violently upheld by nation-states. Their ways of living do not abide by regional and international colonial powers, who practice extractionist, militaristic and genocidal policies to impose their control and hegemony over the land and the communities of the land.

When Se’îd Mûbarek Zêbarî and Araz Ferec Hacî went to Hewit Tebeqe Mountain in Dinarte to collect spring herbs, they reaffirmed their deep timeless relationship with the land as their family and their ancestors had always done. The threat of Turkish drones, jets and snipers did not deter their fingers from kissing Rêwas (warty-leaved rhubarb), Hendrêşe (Allium tripedale), Kingir roots (Spear Thistle), and Şilêre (Fritillaria Kurdica). When a Turkish jet hit them and took their lives at 6:30 in the morning on 8 March 2024, they died while being in relation with the land, they became one with the land and no strikes would break that bond.

Resûl Yunisî and Ehmed Heyderî came all the way from Mehabad, Iran, crossing the border into Iraqi Kurdistan in order to collect wild herbs, practicing the border-free patterns of movement of their ancestors and reaffirming the unity of the land, despite the border guards and jets and drones. On 28 April 2024, they were struck and killed by Turkish jets. It took several days to collect their bodies from the mountains.

Pray for the communities of the Zagros mountains, that they may practice their relationship with the land and their communities divided by colonial borders, without getting bombed, struck or harassed by Turkish and Iranian bombs, drones and jets!

Pray for the freedom of Indigenous spring harvesters to roam the mountains safely!

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