An annual report by a human rights group said that at least 163 citizens were killed or wounded by Iran’s state security forces in western Iran in the past year, of which 52 lost their lives.
Hengaw human rights organization reported on Friday that of the 52 Kurd citizens who were killed by the state security forces in 2021, four were under the age of 18. Two minors were also wounded.
Porters (or kolbars) are workers who are hired to carry heavy loads across the border for a meager pay.
Due to the lack of economic development, increasing poverty and unemployment in in Iran’s predominantly Kurdish region, more and more people are forced to take up this dangerous and harsh occupation. The regime categorizes kolbars as “smugglers” and routinely shoots and kills them.
If not killed by security forces, kolbars die from avalanches, falling off mountains, hyperthermia, and hypothermia.
Many porters are university graduates and several are national athletes who have been forced into the life-threatening job for a meager pay.
Many of them are teens under the age of 18 who work in such dangerous conditions to help support their families.
In November 2021, a 15-year-old Kurd minor committed suicide after security forces shot the mules he used to carry loads across the border in Nowsud, western Iran. The boy border porter was identified as Soroush Rahmani. Soroush had borrowed the mules to carry loads to pay for his sick father’s cancer treatment.
An informed source said Soroush took to the life-threatening job of a border porter due to poverty. The source said Soroush’s family had mortgaged their home to the bank, and his father was diagnosed with cancer. To help his family, Soroush had borrowed the mules to carry loads, when security forces gunned them down. He said Soroush developed severe psychological problems and hanged himself when he was alone at home.