Three Kolbars shot dead by Iranian forces in May – watchdog

File – A group of Kolbars carrying goods climb a mountain on the border between Iran and Iraq. (Alessandro Cinque)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — As many as three Kurdish Kolbars (porters) were killed by Iranian forces in northwestern Iran last month, a rights watchdog said on Tuesday.

Hengaw Organization for Human Rights said in a statement that four Kolbars died and 13 others were wounded in Iran in May.

Three of the Kolbars were shot dead by the Iranian forces while the other died in a natural accident, said the organization, which monitors human rights abuses in Iranian Kurdistan.

Up to 11 Kolbars were wounded by the security forces and the two others were injured by a natural accident and a mine explosion, the organization added.

The watchdog further said five of the cases were recorded in Urmia, seven in Sanandaj and five others in Kermanshah.

Kolbars carry goods across the mountainous border between Iran, Iraq and Turkey on their backs. They frequently come under fire from Iranian border guards.

According to the organization, 59 Kolbars died or were shot dead by Iranian security forces and 181 others were wounded in 2020.

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