An annual report by Human rights groups including the Human Rights Activists News Agency said that at least 300 Iranian citizens were directly or indirectly killed or wounded by Iran’s state security forces in 2018.
According to the report which has been compiled from January 1, 2018 to December 20, 2018, at least 142 reports were published about these incidents which indicate the widespread use of lethal force by Iran’s security forces without due process which amounts to arbitrary killings.
Iran’s state forces carry out these shootings without any legal implications and with impunity.
The report does not include citizens who were killed during protests, killed in prison or those who were undergoing prosecution.
The annual report has been collected from 11 provinces in Iran though most of the incidents occurred in the Kurdish regions of Western Azarbaijan, Kurdistan and Baluchestan.
A large number of the deaths or injuries as a result of lethal force by security forces were carried out in the western Kurdish areas of Iran and the Baluch areas in the south eastern regions of Iran.
In Kurdistan, an occupation that locals call Kolbari, workers who are hired to carry heavy loads across the border, has increased due to the lack of economic development, increasing poverty and unemployment. The most arbitrary killings were reported in this region.
In southern Sistan and Baluchestan, due to increasing poverty, people transport diesel fuel to make a living. This region encompassed the second largest killings by security forces who killed ordinary citizens under the suspicion that they were transporting smuggled goods or fuel.
The report also addresses the victims of mines and live ammunition explosions, classified under the activities of Iran’s state security forces.
Arbitrary killings of Kolbars
Over the course of 2018, around 48 kolbars were killed by direct or indirect fire by security forces while 104 porters were wounded.
According to the gathered, at least seven kolbars were killed due to hyperthermia and avalanches, five died after falling off elevations, while one person died from a heart attack as a result of poor working conditions. The report said that at least 100 horses and mules were also killed by Iran’s border forces.
Arbitrary killings of ordinary citizens
37 Iranians were killed while 32 were wounded as a result of the violation of gun rules by military forces in Iranian border provinces.
In 2018, one person was killed by a live ammunition explosion while four others were wounded. Two people were killed after security forces threw rocks at their car which then overturned. One person was intentionally run over by a security force automobile while a shepherd was wounded by security forces.
During 2018, 13 people were killed by mine blasts while 44 people were wounded.
Categories of shooters
According to the report, 39% of the shootings were carried out by unidentified military forces and it is not clear which military apparatus they were linked to.
30% of the indirect and direct shootings were carried out by forces stationed in border regions linked with the Disciplinary Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran (NAJA), the military, and the Revolutionary Guards Corps who were all working under the title of Border Regiment Forces.
29% of the incidents were carried out by state security forces at checkpoints, in car patrols and police stations while 2% were carried out by Revolutionary Guards Corps under the official title of the Guards.
Iran covers up arbitrary killings
Despite the many difficulties and risks that NGOs face in reporting from high risk border areas, 85% of the information in this annual report was provided by independent news sources and human rights groups. Iran’s official media only published 15% of the incidents.
Although the report is the result of the extensive efforts of human rights groups in Iran, for obvious reasons, including a ban on independent NGOs in Iran and limitations on the free flow of information, it does not reflect all civilian casualties and the actual number of arbitrary killings and injuries are much higher.