52 Kolbars, workers killed, 137 wounded over past nine months: watchdog

A number of kolbars (porters)

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SULAIMANI — The Kurdistan Human Rights Commission said on Thursday (October 1) that 52 Kurdish Kolbars (porters) and workers have been killed by the Iranian security forces over the past nine months.

At least 137 Kolbars were wounded and fourteen others were arrested.

Included in the total were six Kolbars who were shot and killed by the security forces and eighteen others who were wounded during September. Seven were arrested last month.

Kolbars carry goods across the mountainous border between Iran and Iraq on their backs. They frequently come under fire from Iranian border guards. Despite extreme temperatures in winter and summer, they risk their lives in the treacherous mountain passes to make ends meet.

The watchdog also said that “190 Kurdish activists have been arrested and jailed in prisons over the past nine months. Some of them were released temporarily after posting bail, but most of them are still in custody,” read the statement.

Thirty-one ethnic Kurds were executed by the Iranian authorities through September, the Commission said.

(NRT Digital Media)