Escape From Iran

In the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan is the heavily guarded military base of Komala – the Revolutionary Party of Iranian Kurdistan. It’s a magnet for young Iranian Kurds who risk everything to make the perilous trek from the Islamic Republic. For the first time, BBC News Arabic’s Namak Khoshnaw – himself a Kurdish refugee from the days of Saddam Hussein – has been given unique access to film with Komala. The film follows a group of young men and women as they undergo three months of rigorous military training before qualifying as peshmerga – Kurdish guerrilla fighters – and become full members of Komala. Komala has several thousand male and female peshmerga fighters in Iraq. They frequently mount illegal cross-border operations to show their presence in neighbouring Iranian Kurdistan, where they maintain a secret network by what they say are non-violent political activities. Komala has told the BBC they’ve given up their armed struggle against Iran. But the Iranian government says Komala is a terrorist group.

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