Over 16 Kolbars killed, wounded in February: Rights organization
Zhyan News Network
SULAIMANI – Over 16 Kurdish porters, known as Kolbars, have died and wounded during the month of February, a human rights organization reported on Monday (March 1).
Most of the victims were shot by Iranian security forces and border guards while exporting heavy loads of contraband on their backs across the western border area.
According to statistics released by Hengaw Human Rights Organization, during February, seven Kolbars and workers have been killed and nine others were wounded.
The Kurdish populated city of Sina has seen highest death toll with ten fatalities, the human rights advocacy reported.
Porters, particularly from Iranian Kurdistan, blame the high rate of unemployment in Iran’s Kurdish-populated provinces, where many of the porters come from.
Working in the smuggling trade on the border between Iran and Kurdistan Region has cost the lives of hundreds of Kurdish porters, known as “Kolbar.”
Hundreds of porters have been killed or injured by Iranian border guards and security forces in past years; others have died after being caught up in natural disasters, falling from mountains, or stepping on land mines that remain from the 1980-1988 war with Iraq.