Security forces in Iran’s western border shot and killed a border porter yesterday. The Human Rights News Agency has identified the man as Khaled Ahmadpour who was married and lived in a village in Sardasht, western Iran. He was the sole breadwinner for his two children and wife.
Border 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 western Iran, more and more Iranian Kurds 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.
Yesterday’s shooting is the fourth case of arbitrary shooting by regime forces in three days. On February 3, security forces opened fire on two people riding a motorcycle in Saravan in southeastern Iran. One man was killed while the other person who was identified as his niece/nephew was injured. In Minab, southern Iran, security forces shot without warning at a man identified as Khalil Sarmasti while he was driving. He was carrying fuel and his car caught on fire leading to his death.
The Iranian regime’s security forces and police have a history of shooting and killing civilians. There are almost daily reports of police and border guards opening fire on Kurd border porters in western Iran and civilians carrying fuel in southeastern Iran.
An annual report by a human rights group said that at least 204 Iranian citizens were directly or indirectly killed or wounded by Iran’s state security forces in 2020.According to the report, at least 74 citizens were killed, including 36 kolbars, 5 fuel carriers and 33 other citizens. The 2020 arbitrary shootings injured at least 130 people.