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tv   Escape from Iran  BBC News  April 19, 2021 1:30am-2:00am BST

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six people have been killed in the latest mass shootings in the united states. police in wisconsin are searching for a gunman who killed three when he opened fire in a bar. several hours later — three more people were shot dead in a separate incident in texas. twelve of europe's top football clubs have confirmed that they plan to form a breakaway super—league — in defiance of european football's governing body. they said matches would be played midweek — and they would continue to participate in their respective domestic leagues. the plan is strongly opposed by uefa. now on bbc news — the story of the young kurds who risk everything to escape from iran.
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the mountains of kurdistan — they are full of dark memories for me. i was nine in 1991. the kurdish people rebelled after the first gulf war, hoping to free themselves from iraqi control. my family and millions of others had to flee saddam hussein's hands. we were saved by the intervention of international forces. my father died five years later. he had fought against saddam and i saw the terrible price he had paid for his dream of a free kurdistan. for me, this camp seemed the only option. i set out for britain, arriving as a refugee, eventually making films for the bbc. i never lost my bond with my homeland, now called iraqi kurdistan. under kurdish control,
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it is become a refuge for young kurds fleeing danger from neighboring iran. i have returned to rediscover their stories and learn why they are giving up everything in their bid to be free, just like i did 20 years ago. iran — close to the border with iraqi kurdistan.
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these kurdish guerrilla forces, known as the peshmerga, are on a secret mission. they're iranian kurds and they belong to an organization called komala. the border is heavily guarded, so they're looking for new ways through the mountains. they expect more young kurds to cross from iran in a few days.
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in the 1970s, komala joined the revolution against the shah. soon after this, ayatollah khomeini issued a fatwa, outlawing them as revolutionary infidels trying to stop the advance of islam. today, komala say it stands for a democratic and secular iran where the rights of all are safeguarded. hemen is the head of recruitment. he spends his days helping young iranian kurds trying to cross the border.
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in late 2019, anti—government demonstrations swept across iran.
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people were protesting against the high cost of food and fuel. when iran shut shot down an ukranian airliner by mistake, they took to the streets again. the government reacted with tear gas, meeting with them live ammunition. it is believed several hundred people were killed. zana isjoined by aram, another recruit.
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the journey is dangerous. if they're spooted by iranian border guards, they could be shot. two days later, they finally make it through. having escaped iran, the boys now must pass the interrogation.
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will komala accept them in or consider them spies?
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the meeting seems to be going well. then it takes a surprise turn.
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now that aram is going back
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to iran, zana is on his own. this is my first visit to komola base. it brings back memories of my early life. i thought they might try to restrict me, but i'm now that aram is going back
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to iran, zana is on his own. this is my first visit to komola base. it brings back memories of my early life. i thought they might try to restrict me, but i'm allowed to film whatever i want. i met a group that recently arrived. they arejust beginning their training.
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komala was one of the first kurdish troops to invite women into its ranks and give them guns. one of the new recruits is struggling with the high altitude.
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hundreds of young iranian kurds will enter what looks she left iran because she didn't want to be forced marry. hundreds of young iranian kurds will enter what looks like guerrilla training but komala say the guns create a false impression and are just for self—defense.
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after three months of training, they have become peshmerga. now they face an unexpected challenge. the pandemic stopped all recruitment. the camp closed to outsiders and i had no idea when i could return.
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back in london, coronavirus had also changed everything. it would be midsummer before i could get back to kurdistan. when i returned injuly, ifound it badly in need of a clean—up and ominously iran had been launching drone attacks against komala bases.
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hemen is organizing demonstrations in iran. they are acts of defiance and intended to increase public awareness of komala.
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ajin is working in the media unit. she is making a film about the women of komala. she too is working in the media unit.
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bajan was given basic medical training and assigned to the camp clinic. in november, i made my final visit. the second wave of coronavirus was sweeping across the globe. but they were now accepting now recruits. it meant that zana could finally start his training.
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my time with komala one has shown me one thing — it is not for everyone. of the recruits i met injanuary, only half remain. some returned to iran, others to europe, one even took her own life.
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during the past year, i have made five visits to the training base. it is now time for me to leave. i don't know how bajan, ajin, or zana will fare. the region is simply too unstable to make predictions. but i can see that despite the difficulties, they have found a home and a purpose. at least for now.
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hello. no significant rain on the way again this week. there is an atlantic weather system close to parts of northern ireland and scotland, so a little rain during monday for some here. but for most of the, uk it's high—pressure, it's dry and, after a chilly start, it will feel quite warm in the sunshine. this area of high—pressure extending across from scandinavia. this area of low pressure giving parts of northern ireland and scotland notjust more cloud but a little rain. but where you have the clouds to start today, you will avoid frost, but a touch of frost eastern scotland, parts of england or wales. close to or perhaps a touch below freezing in the coldest rural areas. and some early low cloud, mist and fog gradually clearing from parts of eastern england. plenty of sunshine
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following on behind, across most of england and wales, and scotland. bit of patchy cloud developing. an isolated shower later in the day can't be ruled out in south east england. but the cloud though is thickest across western counties of northern ireland, western—most parts of scotland. there will be some outbreaks of rain occasionally — just 10 to 12 degrees here. really quite warm where you get the sunshine elsewhere. overnight and into tuesday, the cloud and a chance of seeing some rain across more of northern ireland and scotland by tuesday morning. low cloud, mist and fog returning to parts of eastern england. generally temperatures a bit higher going into tuesday morning, so the frost will be harder to come by. low cloud, mist and fog gradually clearing from eastern england on tuesday. across england and wales though, a bit more patchy cloud developing. a shower can't be ruled out on tuesday. largely cloudy in scotland and northern ireland. not much rain left on this weather front. northern scotland brightening up, but here behind the weatherfront, well, the air, the wind changing direction — it will feel colder here. whereas south of the weather front it is still warm in light winds and where you get some of those sunny spells continuing. the cooler air behind this weather front,
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with cloud and not much rain, continues to push south overnight and into wednesday across the uk. and then a new area of high pressure taking over, giving plenty of dry weather in the second half of the week. but the wind around that coming in for the northeast. it will be colder along north sea coasts. generally temperatures will come down a little bit, but yet again, it will continue to feel really quite warm where you get to see some sunshine. though there is still the risk, the threat of frost overnight. and for gardeners and growers, no significant rain this week.
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