Yet another kolbar killed by Iranian state forces

Iranian security forces have again targeted Kurdish load carriers in East Kurdistan.

Kolbars, Kurdish load carriers crossing the Iranian, Turkish and Iraqi borders between the parts of Kurdistan, live dangerously. They are repeatedly targeted by both Turkish and Iranian forces.

According to KolberNews, Iranian forces opened fire on a group of kolbars in the border region of Piranshahr in East Kurdistan on Tuesday evening.

The attack claimed the life of a kolbar named Şiwan Muradi Eqdem, who came from the Gezgesk village of Piranshahr.

Şiwan Muradi Eqdem was 42 years old and a father of three.

Kurdish kolbars in border traffic are in the sights of the regional states that are occupying Kurdistan. According to a balance sheet by Kolbernews, many Kolbers were again killed by Iranian forces in the west of the Iranian province of Azerbaijan and in the border regions of eastern Kurdistan near Sine and Kirmaşan (Kermanshah) within six months.

According to Kolbarnews, at least 26 kolbars have been killed and 164 others injured in the past six months. Most of the kolbars were killed by direct fire from the Iranian army or the Revolutionary Guards. Another important cause of death and injuries are the harsh conditions in the high mountains, mine explosions and falls. However, according to the balance sheet, almost 80 percent of the dead and injured can be traced back to the actions of the Iranian army. The Iranian and Turkish armies consider kolbars as fair game. They are robbed, abused and often killed.

For many people, especially in Eastern Kurdistan, this difficult and dangerous work is the only way to earn money. According to the human rights organisation Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN), at least 46 Kurdish kolbars were killed in 2021. Another 122 load carriers were injured in the border area by gunfire from security forces or natural disasters. Of the 46 kolbars who lost their lives, 17 were killed by Iranian forces and four by Turkish forces. One minor kolbar committed suicide after border forces confiscated his mules.  

In addition, five kolbars died from avalanches, three from frostbite, three from falls in the mountains, three from heart attacks while transporting goods, one from drowning in a river and nine from traffic accidents.