At Least 21 Iranian Kolbars Shot Dead by IRGC within Five MonthsPublished by Ali on August 4, 2020
International Liberty Association: Based on information compiled by the Iran human rights organisations, at least 21 porters (or back carriers) have been shot dead by revolutionary guards since 20 March 2020.
This is an average of four porters per month and one porter every week getting killed by the IRGC.
This figure does not include the cases where porters lost their lives after falling off the mountain, or getting trapped in the freezing cold.
Unbridled poverty and rampant unemployment, particularly in the border regions have led to the creation of false jobs such as this, carrying heavy loads across the border to earn a meager living.
Porters known locally as kolbars, engage in this false job at the risk of their lives. The first five months of the Iranian year saw the deaths of at least 21 porters at the hands of the IRGC forces.
Many educated people including highly educated youths are among porters because they are poor and cannot find suitable jobs. The harsh occupation is particularly prominent in Kurdish-populated regions, such as Kurdistan Province and West Azerbaijan Province. They are usually residents of local villages, men and women, even children as young as 13 and others in their 70s.
ILA: The Officials categorize the kolbars as “smugglers” and routinely shoots and kills them.
At least 79 Iranian kolbars were killed, and 66 others were injured as the result of direct fire by border forces in 2019.
Ebrahim Jordizej was one of the 21 Iranian kolbars killed in June 2020 by the IRGC. He used to own a shop in his village, but since he hardly had any income, he resorted to this intolerable false job. He was shot to death by the IRGC.
In another case on 17 July 2020, a porter lost his life at a hospital in Van, Turkey. Shamzin Ahmadi had been seriously wounded after the IRGC shot him.
His brother, Arsalan Ahmadi had been killed by the IRGC on 3 June 2020 as he was carrying loads in the border area of Urmia.