One kolbar killed, five others injured in attacks by Iranian border guards
Kolbars and kasibkars are targeted systematically by Iranian and Turkish security forces. Each year, dozens of them are killed with no punitive measures being taken.
Iranian border guards opened fire on a group of kolbars in the Hangeh-ye Zhal border area of Baneh, Kurdistan Province, on 14 November, killing kolbar Yadegar Rahimi and injuring another, the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) reported.
On the other hand, four kolbars, including two children, were injured by border guards in an earlier incident on the same day in the same border area.
According to KHRN, the border guards targeted both groups at close range and without prior warning.
Rahimi was a 34-year-old father of two from the village of De Kon in Baneh.
The group of four kolbars targeted in the earlier incident includes Arvin Mohammadi, 14, from Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province; Iman (surname unknown), 17, from Sanandaj; Shaho (surname unknown), 21; and Hassan (surname unknown), 20.
According to KHRN statistics, in the past two weeks, two kolbars and a tradesman were killed in the border areas of Baneh and at least 40 kolbars sustained gunshot wounds in the border areas of Nowsud and Baneh as a result of shootings by Iranian border guards.
Kolbars and kasibkars are targeted systematically by Iranian and Turkish security forces. Each year, dozens of them are killed with no punitive measures being taken. Apart from systematic attacks, kolbars are struggling to make a living under harsh weather conditions, dangerous geographical locations and mines.
Kolber or “kolbar” is derived from the Kurdish words “kol” and “bar”. Kol means “back”, bar means “load”. Kolbars make their living by carrying goods on their backs across dangerous borders. The goods they carry include cigarettes, mobile phones, blankets, household items, tea and rarely alcoholic beverages. They have to pass through dangerous roads between South Kurdistan and East Kurdistan. The goods brought are sold at relatively high prices in commercial centres such as Tehran. However, kolbars who carry out the transportation of goods at the expense of their lives receive a very small amount of wages.
Kasibkar refers to those people who receive the goods kolbars carry to South Kurdistan and find buyers in towns.