Iranian border forces have shot dead a transborder porter, or kolbar, in the western province of Kurdistan, according to Kurdish human rights activists.
The man, identified as 28-year-old Ahoan Dashti, was shot without warning near the Hengezhal border crossing in Baneh district on December 5, in yet another unlawful shooting of an unarmed Kurdish kulbar who worked under cruel and inhumane conditions.
The latest incident brings the total number of kolbars killed by Iranian forces in Baneh over the past month to 17.
Just within the past week, three kolbars have been killed in the area.
The kolbars are porters who haul goods on their backs across the borders of Iran and over long distances, mostly in the impoverished, mountainous Kurdish areas adjacent to Iraq, to make a living.
The Iranian authorities label kolbars as "smugglers,” but human rights organizations maintain that their activity is a form of survival for many men living in impoverished border regions where economic opportunities are scarce.
From 2012 to the end of 2021, at least 547 kolbars died and more than 1,601 were injured in Kermanshah, West Azerbaijan and Kurdistan provinces, according to the Kolbar News website.