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In Iran, Kurds close shops, pour onto streets protesting killings of porters

By Rudaw 5/9/2017
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - In wake of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards killing two Kurdish porters for carrying goods across the Iran-Kurdistan Region border, a large number of people in the Kurdish city of Baneh have closed down their shops in protest and have taken to the streets confronting Iranian authorities. 

Upon a call from Baneh activists, people shut their shops earlier this morning and took to the streets in front of the city’s municipality condemning the killing of Kurdish kolbars from Baneh who have frequently been targeted by the Iranian government on the borders, Rudaw has been told.

Simultaneously, Mariwan city’s civil activists also have called on shop owners to close down, in protest against the Iranian government’s acts against the kolbars.


An eyewitness told Rudaw on Tuesday that two protesters were wounded as police and security forces used tear gas to disperse them. 

Kolbars are frequently harassed by the Iranian authorities and many have been killed. The kolbars are semi-legal porters who carry goods on their backs, across the mountains from the Kurdistan Region to Iran’s Kurdish provinces.

Villagers on the border had been doing this work illegally for years. In mid-2016, Iranian authorities announced they would issue special licenses to allow the transport of goods on foot without the risk of being stopped by border guards. 

Only heads of families, who have finished their military service and live within 15 kilometers of the border, qualify for the special permit to transport legal goods.

The French-based Kurdistan Human Rights Network has reported that it documented 42 kolbars shot to death by the Iranian security forces in 2016 alone, and at least 30 people have been injured and some others killed thus far in 2017.

The Iranian government considers the unlicensed kolbars to be smugglers involved in illegal activities, posing a threat to Iran’s security.

The Kurdish regions of Iran are some of the poorest in the country. Kolbars see the work as an opportunity to provide income.


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pre-Boomer Marine brat | 5/9/2017
"smugglers involved in illegal activities" ... Don't make me laugh. The IRGC has long been known as the biggest importer of illegal goods in the country.
Help the Ezidis | 5/9/2017
The adament assassinators of the Revolutionary Guards follow the instructions of their leaders. The Kurdish citizens, especially the male heroes who are trying to make some money, can better try to survive by doing business with traders from the KRG. Iran likes to kill especially the Kurdish population part by part. Please save your Kurdish lives! What does the Kurdish Islamic Union say about these killings of their Iranian political friends?
Serhad | 5/9/2017
My very dear brothers from Rojhilat, show this terrorist Mullah regime who the Kurds are and that you can't shed our blood for free! Your brothers from all of Kurdistan are with you! BIJÎ KURDISTAN, BIJÎ BERXWEDANA ROJHILAT!
Allan Kurdi | 6/9/2017
People are poor and jobless in that area, that's why this happening....
Guest | 6/9/2017
I am very disappointed of the Kurds in Eastern Kurdistan (Rojhalat) who have not risen by tens of thousands and have not taken up arms against the Islamic terrorist regime in Iran. I am very disappointed indeed!

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