Demonstrators took to the streets on Tuesday to protest the killings of two kolbars. Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iranian authorities have reportedly cracked down on social media users after Tuesday’s protests in the Kurdish city of Baneh following the killing of two kolbers, Kurdish cross-border porters, by Iranian forces.
Iran’s intelligence ministry has summoned or arrested persons connected with popular social media accounts, the Kurdish-Iranian party Komala reported. Internet in Baneh has also been reportedly shut down.
According to Komala, heavily armed security forces have been deployed in Kurdish cities following Tuesday’s general strike and demonstrations that drew as many as 5,000 people into the streets, reported the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN).
Protesters broke into the governor’s building, calling for the governor’s dismissal and an end to killings of kolbars, KHRN reported. A number of official vehicles were also set on fire.
A number of protesters were injured after anti-riot police used tear gas and batons.
At least three people have been arrested, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) reported, describing the city as being under martial law.
Most shops in the city have remained closed on Wednesday.
Upon a call from Baneh activists, people shut their shops Tuesday morning
and took to the streets in front of the city’s municipality condemning the killing of two kolbars from Baneh who have frequently been targeted by the Iranian government on the borders.
Two kolbars, 41-year-old Ghader Bahrami and 21-year-old Heydar Faraji, were killed near Baneh on Monday by Iranian forces.
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, which are some of the poorest regions of Iran.