Another kolbar killed by Iranian forces in Rojhilat

Apart from systematic attacks directed against them, kolbars are struggling to make a living under harsh weather conditions, dangerous geographical locations and mines.


Iranian state forces killed 35-year-old Peyman Ahmadî, a 35-year-old kolbar, by direct fire at the Nawsoud border of Rojhilatê (Eastern) Kurdistan.

According to reports, the body of Peyman Ahmedî, who came from Ciwanro (Jawanroud), was first taken to hospital and then handed over to his family.

Eastern Kurdistan has descended deeper into poverty through the years due to deliberate policies by the Iranian regime and stands out as one of the poorest regions in Iran. Compared to other regions, the area has seen significantly less investment and development has been deliberately curbed. Agriculture and industry weren’t allowed to develop, and as a result, unemployment rose to the highest in Iran.

Faced with policies of discrimination, oppression and impoverishment, carrying smuggled goods is not a choice but a must for survival.

Kolbar comes from the Kurdish words, “kol” (back) and “bar” (load). Kolbars make their living carrying loads along the perilous borderline. Their loads include cigarettes, mobile phones, clothes, housewares, tea and seldomly alcohol. They walk through dangerous terrain to continue this trade between Southern and Eastern Kurdistan. The goods they bring are sold at high prices in Tehran, but the kolbars who risk their lives for them are paid very modestly.

The intermediaries who take the deliveries and find buyers in cities are called kasibkars.

Kolbars and kasibkars range from 13 to 70 years old. Some only finished elementary school, while others are university graduates. They carry loads, because they can’t find any other employment. In the last 5 years, some 300 kolbars and kasibkars were killed in cold blood. There are no absolute statistics available for the deaths.