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tv   Escape from Iran  BBC News  April 17, 2021 12:30am-1:01am BST

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eight top american officials, in response to sanctions imposed by washington on thursday. russia's foreign minister said moscow was also tightening restrictions on us diplomats travelling within russia. the united states has condemned what it called an "escalatory and regrettable" move by moscow. final preparations are under way ahead of saturday's funeral of the duke of edinburgh. the ceremony at st george's chapel in windsor castle will be attended by a small group of close family and friends. many aspects of the funeral, including the music, were planned in advance by prince philip himself. president biden has condemned the latest us mass shooting in indiana, describing gun violence as a national embarrassment. he again urged congress to take measures to prevent weapons falling into the wrong hands. police in indianapolis have confirmed that eight people were killed in the shooting at a fedex facility. now on bbc news, 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 seemed the only option. i set out for britain, arriving as a refugee, eventually making films
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for the bbc. i never lost my bond with my homeland, now called iraqi kurdistan. under kurdish control, 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.
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iran, close to the border with iraqi kurdistan, iran — close to the border with iraqi kurdistan. 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 19705, 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. people were protesting against the high cost of food and fuel. when iran shut shot down the airliner by mistake, 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.
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having escaped iran, the boys now must pass the interrogation. 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 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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she left iran because she didn't want to be forced marry. hundreds of young iranian kurds
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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
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when i could return. 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
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in the media unit. 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 my time with mike one has shown me something, it is not for everyone. only some of the recruits from last year are still here. 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 there. friday was another fine spring day and we will continue with this dry theme throughout the weekend and perhaps into monday as well. some chilly mornings but it will not be quite as cold overnight nor during the day as it has been of late. we had some patchy cloud bubble up on friday but the thicker cloud was towards the northwest of the uk and that brought rain in the northwest of scotland. that is fading away. the next weather system will be hanging out in the atlantic and we will be dominated by high pressure that stretches down from scandinavia. another cold start of frost across parts of england and wales and eastern parts of scotland. a bit milder for northwest scotland and northern ireland where we have more of a breeze
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and some cloud for a while. sunny start for many, any mist and fog soon lifting, some patchy cloud will bubble up here and there but i think it will be a sunnier day on saturday through the midlands and eastern parts of england. for much of the country, temperatures will be a degree or two higher than they were doing yesterday, making 1a to 15 degrees a little bit more widely. into the evening and overnight, those temperatures will fall away quickly as the sky starts to clear, except in northern ireland and western scotland where the weather fronts in the atlantic are moving in here to bring patchy rain and they keep the temperatures up. otherwise, patchy frost but not as cold as it has been during recent mornings. that weather front hanging around out in the northwest and bringing a bit of a change in the weatherfor some spots of scotland and northern ireland. for england and wales, it remains fine and dry. it looks like it'll be cloudy with patchy and light rain for northern ireland and now it is more likely to be damp across western scotland, further east it will be dry and bright with sunshine and sunshine for england and wales and patchy cloud for wales in the southwest and sunshine a bit hazy in eastern parts of england. through the midlands and eastern england, temperatures looking to reach
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1a or 15 degrees. warming up for these areas in particular. into monday, this rain just does not want to move in across the uk. it will be sitting away from scotland so it looks dry here on monday. more sunshine across england and wales as well and those temperatures continuing to rise around 16 or even 17 degrees. warming up at long last. however, while we might see a little bit of rain coming in on tuesday into early wednesday, the winds turn northerly by midweek and it gets colder again.
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this is bbc news. i'm lewis vaughan jones. our top stories: final preparations for the funeral of the duke of edinburgh — a ceremony partly planned by the duke himself. just keep your head down a little bit. we have a special report from ukraine, where tensions build. russian troops gather on the border. the diplomatic row between russia and the us intensifies: moscow orders ten american diplomats to pack up and leave. and the british actor helen mccrory, best known for her roles in the tv series peaky blinders and three harry potter films, has died of cancer at the age of 52.


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