Kurdish father of three Shot by Police in NW IranPublished by Ali on February 8, 2021
International Liberty Association: An Iranian border porter or “kolbar” (in Kurdish) was killed while driving, by direct police fire in Salmas, northwestern Iran. According to the human rights supporters’ new agency, security forces shot and killed 37-year-old Behzad Hashemi, married and father to three children.
According to an informed source, police opened fire on Behzad’s car, under the suspicion that he was carrying smuggled goods. Behzad died at the scene of the shooting.
In the past week, four others were killed by arbitrary shooting of police or security forces.
Khaled Ahmadpour, the sole breadwinner for his two children and wife was killed on 3 February.
In another case on 3 February, last week, security forces opened fire on two people riding a motorcycle in Saravan in south-eastern 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.
ILA: Kolbars are workers who are hired to carry heavy loads across the border for a meagre 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. The state 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.
Many kolbars are university graduates and several are national athletes who have been forced into the life-threatening job for a meagre pay. If injured, most kolbars cannot pay their hospital bills.