ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Locals from a town in Kermanshah (Kermanshan) Province late on Wednesday found the body of an Iranian Kurdish (Rojhilati) man who was purportedly killed by live fire from Iran’s border guards earlier in the day.
Locals told Hengaw rights group that the man was Azim Ahmedi, 42 years old, and from Tashar village in the Nowsud sub-district, an area which borders Kurdistan Region. Ahmedi was working as a courier, or as it is called in Kurdish, Kulbar.
Kulbar is the Kurdish term for individuals who smuggle small amounts of goods across the border (“kul” meaning “back” and “bar” meaning “carrying.”) Though illegal, it is a local practice that has long since been accepted as normal in the economically undeveloped areas where many residents depend on it for their livelihoods.
Iranian laws dictate that border guards can fire their weapon only if they believe the trespasser is armed and dangerous and just after observing the following procedures: first, giving an oral warning; second, firing into the air; and third, if they must open fire, targeting the lower body.
Despite this, the guards regularly shoot Kulbars, and in the past six months, they have reportedly killed 21 and injured 45.
Hengaw, which writes on human rights violations involving Kurds in Iran, received a picture of Ahmedi’s body when he was found. He is in a prone position, and dried blood can be seen on his light-colored shirt. The photo suggests that he was attempting to move but inevitably bled to death.
Editing by Nadia Riva