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REUTERS, AFP, BBC

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ANKARA — Militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) announced in a statement Monday that they are halting their withdrawal from Turkey, citing the Turkish government’s failure to keep its part of the peace deal, Reuters reports.

The militants said their decision did not affect the ceasefire it announced in March. “While the withdrawal is halted, the ceasefire position will be maintained so as to give the ruling AK Party an opportunity to take steps in line with Leader Apo Abdullah Ocalan’s project,” the statement said.

The fighters from PKK — which the Turkish government, the European Union and the United States consider a terrorist organization — began withdrawing into northern Iraq in May. In exchange for their withdrawal, the Turkish government was expected to improve Kurdish rights and allow the Kurdish minority that dominates the southeast some regional autonomy. The government also said it would provide education in Kurdish, AFP reports.

But Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan is reported to have said last month that the PKK had not kept its promise, given that only 20% of the rebels had left the country.

The conflict between the Kurdish rebels and Turkey has claimed 40,000 lives since it started in 1984.

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Society

Mahsa Amini, Martyr Of An Iranian Regime Designed To Abuse Women

The 22-year-old is believed to have been beaten to death at a Tehran police station last week after "morality police" had reprimanded her clothing. The case has sparked the nation's outrage. But as ordinary Iranians testify, such beatings, torture and a home brand of misogyny are hallmarks of the 40-year Islamic Republic of Iran.

Mahsa Amini

Firouzeh Nordstrom

-Analysis-

TEHRAN — The death in Iran of a 22-year-old Mahsa Amini — after she was arrested by the so-called "morality police" — has unleashed another wave of protests, as thousands of Iranians vent their fury against an intrusive and violent regime. Indeed, as tragically exceptional as the circumstances appear, the reaction reflects the daily reality of abuse by authorities, especially directed toward women

Amini, a Kurdish-Iranian girl visiting Tehran with relatives, was detained by the regime's morality patrols on Sept. 13, apparently for not respecting the Islamic dress code that includes proper use of the hijab headscarf. Amini was declared dead two or three days after being taken into custody. Officials say she fainted and died, and blamed a preexisting heart condition. But neither her family nor anyone else in Iran believe that, as can be seen in the mounting protests that have now left at least three dead.

For Amini's was hardly the first arbitrary arrest, or the first suspected death in custody under Iran's Islamic regime.

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