A court in the city of Baneh in Kurdistan province has sentenced 10 men to prison and lashes for protesting the regime’s killing of porters.
Sardar Aminpour, Mohsen Ghaderi, Barzan Rahimi, Azad Mahmoudzadeh, Shahram Salehi, Yasin Osmani, Ezat Ahmadi, Akaam Mahmoudzadeh, Ribvar Salehi and Mehdi Arkhani were each sentenced to three months of prison, 25 lashes and a fine of 25 million tomans (around $1,136) for protesting outside the Baneh Governor’s Office.
The men had been arrested in September 2017 during the protests and strikes in the northwestern majority Kurdish city of Baneh over the regime’s killing of two Kurdish porters.
Heydar Faraji, 21, and Ghader Bahrami, 45, were killed by border guards near Iran’s border with Iraq on September 4, 2017, for working as porters.
The killing led to widespread protests in Baneh and other cities of Iran’s Kurdistan province. Upon a call by local activists, people shut their shops and poured into the streets.
During the rally, plainclothes agents attacked the protesters and opened fire on them. They used tear gas to disperse the angry protesters.
The border porters or ”kolbars” are frequently harassed by the regime’s guards patrolling the borders and many have been killed.
At least 48 kolbars were killed by direct or indirect fire by security forces while 104 porters were wounded in 2018.
The kolbars make their meager living by transporting goods on their backs on foot, across the mountains borders.
The accupation has increased in the economically-depressed Kurdish-populated border regions of northwest Iran due to increasing poverty and unemployment.