According to reports, the man was a refugee from East Kurdistan who stated in front of media cameras that he was fed up with the situation Kurds like himself faced on a daily basis.
Kurdish refugee Behzad Mahmudî (25), who migrated to Erbil due to the death sentence he was given in Iran, set himself alight in front of cameras.
Mahmudî went to the Erbil Office of the United Nations (UN) and asked for assistance but his cry for help was left unanswered. With a large bottle of gasoline in one hand and a lighter in the other, he stated to the reporters: “We have become refugees in our own land. What kind of life is this? Look at the situation we are in. This is the reality of being a Kurd. We cannot live peacefully there and here, we are treated like dogs without even a place to sleep. Look what they have done to Kurds”.
The young man blamed the UN and Kurdish officials for not caring for displaced Kurds and failing to support people as they should: “I am a political refugee in Hewler due to my Kurdistani stance. I came to Hewler from Rojhilat [Iranian Kurdistan] four years ago. Iran wants to execute me. I am hungry here, too. I live in the street, in the mosque. I will burn myself so they cannot call me a liar”, he said and then set himself on fire, MA reported.
With the intervention of his friend, Mahmudi was saved but the UN Office’s Health Unit did not intervene to save Mahmudi for around 20 minutes as he lay on the ground, writhing in agony. Mahmudî was taken to the Emergency Hospital in Erbil by the UN Office’s ambulance after 20 minutes.