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Kumar Daroftadeh

“Above all, love Freedom” (1)

Kumar was born in the Kurdish city of Piranshahr, in the northwestern province of Kurdistan. He was born on August 16, the anniversary of the establishment of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan. For this reason his parents named him “Kumar” which means “People” in Kurdish.

Kumar was the youngest of his siblings. With two older sisters and two older brothers, he was the spoiled one of the family, and considered to be his mother’s “little baby”. According to his father, Kumar was a kind and cheerful boy. He notes that it was impossible for anyone to meet him once and not fall in love with him. Kumar was only in his 2nd year at high school, but in reading his Instagram posts, we get a clear look into his desire for life and his deep understanding of the world around him. His posts leave us in awe and truly express his sorrow. In his last Instagram post, Kumar quoted this poem (translated from Farsi):

“We are the people of the Middle East, some of us are killed in wars, some of us locked up in prisons, some of us on the streets, and some in the sea. Even the highest mountains take revenge on us for their loneliness, as dying is our occupation.” (2)

Like many other Kurdish cities of Iran, Kumar’s hometown of Piranshahr, has been at the forefront of resistance and the fight for freedom in the ongoing revolution of Iran. On the night of October 30 however, the city seemed to be calm and, according to eyewitnesses, there were no protests or signs of conflicts in the city.

Kumar’s family was attending a wedding that night, but Kumar preferred to stay home and watch a football game on TV. His parents were still at the wedding when they received the news about a 16-year-old boy being taken to hospital. These are the words of Kumar’s dad describing the events after hearing the news:

“I was having dinner with one of the neighbours when I received a call from my daughter telling me that a 16-year-old boy was taken to hospital and that he is now a martyr. When I heard it, I instantly felt butterflies in my stomach. I called Kumar’s cell phone, but someone else picked up his phone and said “Hello?” in Farsi, and then hung up [Note, Kumar’s family, like most of the people in Piranshahr, are Kurds, and speak Kurdish to each other, not Farsi]. We quickly went to the hospital, but no one would say anything to us. It was obvious that it was a matter of security for them. I later received a phone call from the governor’s office and went there with some friends and family. We were told that they would release Kumar’s body under the condition that we bury him quickly, overnight, and in a village far from the city.”

One day later, Kumar was buried in a village with thousands of people attending his funeral. Teary-eyed, standing above Kumar’s grave, his father spoke to the people with a trembling but strong voice, saying that: “This loss is burning my soul. You have no idea how I am burning inside. But Kumar was not only my son. He was also the son of all of the oppressed people. The son of all the people whose blood has been sucked by the dictator. Kumar was so innocent, like any other 16-year-old is, but it’s as though the Regime’s forces thought he was a big monster. Although he was physically small in size, I now realize how great he really was.”

On that gloomy day, somewhere very close to his home, Kumar died after being shot multiple times with metal pellets, at very close range. On a night when there were no protests, the forces of the Islamic Republic brutally killed a 16-year-old boy who wrote:

“We have to live, sometimes with a red rose, sometimes with gloom, and sometimes with a shred of hope.” (3)

Main sources:

A tweet containing the quote (1) from Kumar

An Instagram post and a tweet about quote (3) from Kumar.

An instagram post and an article in Balatarin, containing Kumar’s Instagram post for quote (2).

A tweet containing photos of Kumar’s wounded body.

Another tweet containing a photo of Kumar’s dead body



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