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tv   Escape from Iran  BBC News  April 17, 2021 8:30pm-9:01pm BST

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for northern ireland in western scotland it should be milder as well as the breeze. we got cloud coming in from the atlantic that will bring some rain into northern ireland, and eventually into western scotland. elsewhere, we will have lighter winds and it'll be colder. temperatures be close to freezing and there will be patchy frost here and there will be patchy frost here and there. it will warm up in the sunshine, but for much of scotland and northern ireland. the rain and drizzle will peter out and it will be dry and bright for eastern scotland. some patchy fair weather cloud developing in the west. it may be a bit hazy for parts of east anglia, but probably a bit warmer today. temperatures a little lower in scotland and northern ireland under the cloud. most places will be dry on monday, a bit of a cloudy start from some instrument parts, sunshine elsewhere. —— eastern parts. maybe a bit of rain coming
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into northern ireland. otherwise, it's dry and warmer. hello. this is bbc news. the headlines... the queen leads murderers at the duke of edinburgh's funeral service, were only —— leeds mourners. the coffin travels on a specially adapted land rover. the drick�*s children and grandchildren join the solemn procession. —— the duke. the number of coronavirus deaths around the world passes 3 million, with the united states are suffering the highest number of fatalities. doctors for the kremlin critics say they are extremely concerned about his health after more than two weeks on hunger strike.
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now on bbc news... escape from iran. 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,
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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, it has 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. 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 anti—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 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 groups to invite women into its ranks and give them guns.
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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 will enter what looks like guerrilla
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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.
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the pandemic stopped all recruitment. the camp closed to outsiders and i had no idea 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.
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this woman is working in the media unit, too. 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 new 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 there. for northern ireland and western scotland, it should be milder tonight. as well as the breeze, we've got cloud coming in from the atlantic that will bring some rain into northern ireland and eventually into western scotland. elsewhere, we'll have lighter winds, clear skies, it will be colder. temperatures will be close to freezing and there'll be some patchy frost here and there. it will warm up, of course, in the sunshine, but for much of scotland and northern ireland, there'll be more cloud. the rain and drizzle will gradually peter out. it'll be dry and brighter for eastern scotland. some sunshine for england and wales. some patchy fairweather cloud developing in the west, and it may be a bit hazy for some parts of east anglia, but probably a bit warmer than today through the midlands
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and eastern england. by contrast, temperatures a little lower in scotland and northern ireland under the cloud. again, most places will be dry, though, on monday. bit of a cloudy start for some eastern parts of england, otherwise sunshine elsewhere. this fairweather cloud will bubble up more widely and spread out a bit to leave some sunny spells. maybe a bit of rain coming into northern ireland, otherwise it's dry and a little warmer.
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this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. queen elizabeth leads mourners at the funeral of her husband prince philip, the duke of edinburgh. prince philip's coffin travelled to the service on a specially adapted landrover that he helped design. walking together after the service, the two brothers, princes william and harry, who have been at odds in recent months. our other main news stories this hour. worldwide deaths from the coronavirus pandemic reach three million with india facing a new surge in cases. and president biden is under pressure after he tries to keep donald trump's cap on refugees.

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