182 Kurdish couriers killed and injured on
Iran's border with Iraqi Kurdistan in 14 months
Kurdish couriers along the Iranian Kurdistan-Iraqi
Kurdistan border carry cases of goods include
alcohol to Iran. Photo: MEHR. •
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BANAH, Iranian Kurdistan,— Since (March
21, 2011), around 182 couriers (people who carry
goods on their back) have been killed and injured by
the Iranian government forces along the border of
Iranian Kurdistan region (Eastern Kurdistan and
Iraq's Kurdistan region (Southern Kurdistan).
From reliable sources on the ground obtained by
Kurdpa website, killing and injury of 182 Kurdish
civilians in the Kurdish areas who had turned into
the dangerous trade of couriers to earn a living due
to lack of other employment opportunities in the
Kurdish area of Iran.
Majority of the registered cases are reported from
across the Iranian Kurdistan, with these reports
being available on our website and others based on
other reliable on-the-ground sources.
Due to lack of security for human rights activists
and citizen reporters to cover all the incidents,
the figures of those Kurdish couriers killed and
injured could be much higher.
Why these couriers get murdered? On the whole,
on-foot good couriers in Kurdistan borders get
killed by indiscriminate shooting of various
government forces operating in the areas or by mine
explosions planted by government forces.
Occasionally, in colder season, avalanches and
bitter cold take the lives of some of these
Often, government forces ambush the caravan of
couriers and fire live rounds indiscriminately
without any prior warnings.
Recently, these forces have started wearing local
costumes to mislead couriers, and while at close
range , they start shooting at couriers randomly.
Iranian regime has heavily militarized the Kurdish
areas; as a result, these areas are laden with mines
that not only take the lives of many couriers, but
also maim and kill dozens of region’s residents
including shepherds, women and children.
Targeting vehicles belonging to Kurdish civilians by
the regime forces in non-border areas under the
pretext of carrying illegal goods is also another
method to kill Kurdish civilians in Iran, an act
which is not only contrary to regime’s own laws, but
also often times, the targeted vehicles do not carry
Nuisance and hassling of residents of the border
areas of Kurdistan by armed and intelligence
institutions Aside from all the deprivations of the
residents in these areas and lack of basic
necessities and jobs, they get reprimanded by the
security and intelligence institutions under the
pretext of aiding Kurdish anti-regime opposition
Summoning the residents to security centers and
obtaining written undertaking from them to keep away
from the border areas is another mean of exertion
that is being imposed on the Kurdish residents which
sets the stage for further indiscriminate shootings
Why choose courier trade in these areas On one hand,
the mountainous landscape which makes agriculture
production extremely difficult and under the excuse
of presence of anti-regime elements on the other,www.ekurd.net
neither private investment nor government has done
anything to create job opportunities in this region.
One can argue that majority of the households in
this region live way below the poverty line and
choosing the courier trade is their last resort to
earn a living.
Often, the couriers get paid very little for the
heavy loads they carry on their back and the goods
belong to powerful illegal smugglers. All the
mentioned cases are widely available on our website
in various news reports.
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