Iran-HRM – A border porter identified as Vahed Mohammadpour was killed by border police on Saturday in Sardasht, northwestern Iran.
Vahed was married and a father to three. Border police opened fire on a group of border porters without warning and Vahed was killed among them.
This is the sixth border porter killed by border police or security forces in June.
The Iranian regime’s security forces and the IRGC have a history of shooting and killing innocent civilians.
On June 25, Mohammad Minouyi was killed by security forces in Marivan, western Iran.
On June 23, 40-year-old Fahim Rostamzadeh was shot and killed by border police near Sarvabad, western Iran.
On June 20, two kolbars were killed in Baneh, western Iran. The two kolbars were identified as 27-year-old Sadoun Ahmadi and Yasser.
On June 2, security forces killed 63-year-old Hossein Faraji in Baneh, western Iran. An informed source said security forces opened fire on Hossein’s car, suspecting him of carrying smuggled goods.
Iran’s porters (kolbars)
Porters (Kolbars) are poor people who transfer goods such as fuel, cigarettes, electric equipment, clothing, tires, etc. with great difficulty and at a high risk to their lives to earn a living for their families. They sometimes have to transfer 100 to 150 kilograms on their backs in the mountains and valleys, in hot summer or cold winter.
More than 68,000 porters are working in Iran’s border provinces, of which 16,000 to 18,000 are in Piranshahr and Sardasht, official statistics indicate.
Unofficial sources however estimate the actual number of porters to be around 350 to 500 thousand in border provinces.
Due to the lack of economic development, increasing poverty and unemployment in predominantly Kurdish region of western Iran, much of the local economy relies on such trade.
The State Security forces target the porters without any prior warnings under the pretext of “fighting trafficking of goods,” a practice which is in contravention of the law.
This is while no report has been published so far that these people are armed.
If not killed by security forces, kolbars die from avalanches, falling off mountains, hyperthermia, and hypothermia.