Kolbars carry goods across the Kurdistan Region-Iran border. (Rudaw)

November 20, 2020

Two Kurd border porters “kolbars” were killed by Iranian border forces yesterday in West Azerbaijan Province, northwestern Iran.

Kurd Human Rights Groups identified the kolbars as Vasim Fardinzadeh from Oshnavieh, and Hakan Mohammadzadeh who was married and had two children and lived in Salmas. The two border porters were targeted without warning.

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 Iranians 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.

According to Hengaw, from 2016 to July 2020, at least 937 Kurd kolbars were injured or killed.

Many kolbars are university graduates and several are national athletes who have been forced into the life-threatening job for meager pay.


About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.