Dozens of human rights violations reported in Iran’s Kurdish areas in August

At least one kolbar was killed and 13 wounded by Iranian forces in August, and at least 47 people were arrested, a human rights organization monitoring Kurdish areas of Iran said on Wednesday in their monthly report.

“In August, the Islamic Republic of Iran military forces killed at least one kolbar and wounded 13 in the western border areas of Kurdistan, Kermanshah, and West Azerbaijan provinces,” read the report from the Paris-based Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN).

Two other kolbars died in a road accident and nine were injured “either in a road accident or falling from mountain heights.”  

Kolbars are semi-legal porters who transport untaxed goods across the Kurdistan Region-Iran border and sometimes the Iran-Turkey border. They are constantly targeted by Iranian border guards and are sometimes victims of natural disasters. Iran’s Kurdish provinces are among the poorest in the country and many kolbars are pushed into the profession by poverty and a lack of alternative employment.

In a recent report on the human rights situation in Iran, the United Nations raised concern over the “excessive use of force” against kolbars. “Reports estimate that around 70,000 Iranians, mostly of the Kurdish minority, depend on being a kolbar for sustenance, including women, many of them women heads of household,” the report read.

According to the UN, approximately 60 kolbars, including children, were killed and more than 170 injured in 2020.

KHRN also reported dozens of arrests in Kurdish provinces.

“Iranian police, Ministry of Intelligence, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) arrested at least 47 Kurdish civilians, activists, and former political prisoners in various cities in Kermanshah, Kurdistan, and West Azerbaijan provinces on political charges,” it stated. “Reportedly, security forces also detained three children in Javanrud, Kermanshah province. They were then released after several hours in detention.”

The monitor also reported the murders of three women in the cities of Mariwan, Sanandaj, and Saqqez, Kurdistan Province.

Source: RUDAW

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