Iran: 420 Kolbars killed in 10 years

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — In the past 10 years a total of 552 Kurdish Kolbars lost their lives, of which 420 were killed and 1,297 others were injured from direct shooting by Iran’s IRGC border guards, according to Kurpa, a Kurdish human rights organization.

Kolbars, or cross-border laborers, are mostly Kurds who smuggle goods across the Iraq-Iran border. The occupation provides them with a means of surviving.

Credit: Middle East Images
Credit: Middle East Images

Kolbars are people who make ends meet in the most difficult of circumstances for their families living in Rojhelat (Iranian Kurdistan). They are the people who live in poverty with no hope of a better future, with high unemployment rates, low wages and a lack of opportunities.

Often, they are victims of snow avalanches or fall from cliffs. They face many hardships like heavy loads on their backs and treacherous treks across the border of both countries.

Credit: Middle East Images
Credit: Middle East Images

According to Kurdpa, a total of 132 Kolbars died from avalanches and falls from cliffs, with the following number of deaths and injuries each year:

2012
44 killed
29 injured

2013
38 killed
54 injured

2014
34 killed
55 injured

2015
42 killed
30 injured

2016
51 killed
71 injured

2017
67 killed
153 injured

2018
70 killed
158 injured

2019
70 killed
180 injured

2020
53 killed
183 injured

2021
46 killed
162 injured

2022
37 killed
222 injured

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