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Germany/Iran: Details of the assassination of four Kurdish politicians in 1992 at the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 16 November 1999
Citation / Document Symbol ZZZ33188.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Germany/Iran: Details of the assassination of four Kurdish politicians in 1992 at the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin, 16 November 1999, ZZZ33188.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ad824c.html [accessed 31 August 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

On 17 September 1992 four Kurds were killed by gunmen firing machine-guns in the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin (AP 18 Sept. 1992; AFP 18 Sept. 1992). AFP stated that those killed included Sadiq Sherefkendi, secretary-general of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (DPIK) (ibid.). AP reported that police only identified "Sadegh C., 55, the head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party" as among the dead, but added that an Iraqi Kurdish official had stated that Sadiq Sharafkindi, leader of the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran, had been killed  (18 Sept. 1992). Both sources stated that three of the victims died at the scene while another died later in the hospital (ibid.; AFP 18 Sept. 1992). AFP reported that a relative of one of the victims claimed they were leaders of the DPIK and that, in addition to Sherefkendi, the other victims were "Fatah Abduli, in charge of the DPIK's operations in Europe. ... The two other dead had last names, according to phonetic spelling, of Nourri and Omayun. … There were no details about the injured person" (ibid.). According to AP, an "Iraqi Kurdish official identified one of the men as Fatah Kouwiani, a third by his surname, Hamaouni, and the fourth by his given name, Aziz," while the injured man was the restaurant's Greek Kurdish manager, who was in "life-threatening condition" at the time of the report (18 Sept. 1992). In a 6 October 1992 report, AP stated that it was Sadiq Sarafkindi of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran who had been killed and described one of the other three victims as "a student supporter" of the Kurdish party.

The attack occurred at about 11 p.m. at the restaurant located on Prager Strasse (AP 18 Sept. 1992; AFP 18 Sept. 1992). AFP described the restaurant as "modest" and the street as "quiet" (ibid.), in the Wilmersdorf district of Berlin (ibid.; AP 18 Sept. 1992). Those killed had been attending a meeting of the Socialist International in Berlin and were in a back room of the restaurant when the attack occurred (AFP 18 Sept. 1992; AP 6 Oct. 1992).

According to AP, the gunmen "burst" into the restaurant and police "quoted witnesses as saying the two gunmen called out the Persian word for 'bastards' during the slayings" (18 Sept. 1992). AP reported that an Iraqi Kurdish official stated that"the victims were taken to the restaurant by two other Iranians who said they were members of the Kurdish opposition. He said he suspected Iranian secret police were behind the murders, but stopped short of incriminating the two Iranians who took the victims to the restaurant" (ibid.). A German police spokesperson stated the two gunmen were accompanied by "a third accomplice who had been waiting in the doorway" (ibid.).

AFP reported that "two of the attackers ran into the room, one of them spraying the Kurds with submachine-gun bullets, while the other stood by with a pistol. The third man stood guard at the restaurant door (18 Sept. 1992). Police sealed the street after the attack and a green ambulance removed the bodies three hours after the attack (ibid.).

AP's 6 October 1992 report states that two dozen shots were fired and that two of the killers fired the shots while another man guarded the restaurant's entrance. "A pistol linked to the killing" had been found with a suspect's handprint on it (ibid.).

According to a 26 February 1997 report from the Website of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, one of the killers "finished off the Kurds as they lay dying on the restaurant floor."

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

Agence France Presse (AFP). 18 September 1992. "Four Anti-Tehran Kurdish Militants Gunned Down in Berlin." (NEXIS)

Associated Press (AP). 6 October 1992. Terrence Petty. "Two Lebanese Arrested in Killings of Kurdish Leader, 3 Colleagues." (NEXIS)

_____. 18 September 1992. "Five Members of Kurdish Group Gunned Down in Berlin Restaurant." (NEXIS)

Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI), Bethesda, MD. 26 February 1997. "FDI Newswire: German Court Told Ayatollah Khomeini Ordered Mykonos Killings." [Accessed 8 Nov. 1999]

Additional Sources Consulted

Keesing's Record of World Events [Cambridge]. 1960 -1998.

Resource Centre. Iran country file. January 1997 - October 1999.

_____. Iran: Amnesty International country file. January 1997 - October 1999.

Electronic sources: IRB Databases, LEXIS/NEXIS, REFWORLD, World News Connection (WNC), Internet sites including:

Human Rights Watch.

NetIran Website. Encompassing IRNA 1993-98, Iran News 1993-98, Tehran Times 1995-98.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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