Angry locals in the western province of Kurdistan chanted “death to dictator” today after the body of a 14 year old kolbar was found in Marivan.
According to reports, locals started a search for three border porters or Kolbars stuck in a snow storm on December 17. The body of 18 year old Azad Khosravi was found while Hossein Karami was found alive but unconscious and was taken to the hospital. However, the frozen body of 14 year Farhad Khosravi, Azad’s brother, was found after three days.
Videos on social media platforms showed hundreds of angry locals chanting against the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. The mourners also chanted “death to dictator” targeting the regime’s Supreme Leader, during the funeral procession for Farhad.
Other videos showed locals holding up pieces of bread, saying that Farhad died to earn money for bread.
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 western Iran, more and more Iranians are forced to take up this dangerous and harsh occupation.
According to reports, at least 48 kolbars were killed by direct or indirect fire by security forces while 104 porters were wounded in 2018.
If not killed by security forces, kolbars die from avalanches, falling off mountains, hyperthermia or as in Farhad’s case, hypothermia.
Reports indicate that the child laborer was trying to evade an IRGC ambush before his death. A picture of Farhad’s body, widely circulated on social media, shows that he had clenched his fists from the cold before his death.
The young kolbar’s death has caused a national outrage, once again shedding light on the plight of Iran’s border porters.
Iranians are using the hashtag #دستهاشو_مشت_کرده which literally means “he has clenched his fists” to tweet about the plight of the child kolbar.