Snow dominates Iranian Kurdistan, kills kulbar

Heavy snowfall in Iranian Kurdistan on Sunday cut power and gas and buried border couriers (kulbar).

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Heavy snowfall in Iranian Kurdistan on Sunday cut power and gas and buried border couriers (kulbar).

An unexpected heavy snow in the Kurdish region of Iran which borders the Kurdistan Region had paused the flow of life in urban areas and killed several Kurdish kulbar.

Five Kulbar were rescued, and villagers were encouraged to welcome and assist the people who carry goods on their backs and mules across the Iran-Iraq border to earn a living.

The Kurdish term “kulbar” consists of “kul” meaning back and “bar” meaning carrying. “Kulbaran” is the plural form.

Many citizens in impoverished Iranian Kurdistan (Rojhilat) who find no other means to earn a livelihood auction their bodies and risk their lives.

They climb impassable passages for long hours, and sometimes days while carrying goods such as tobacco, tires, and tea to make as little as USD $10 a day.

The kulbar often lose their lives through routine direct shootings by Iranian border guards, or through the hardship of their job.

A United Nations’ March report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran stated the arbitrary killing of the unarmed kulbar was “in violation of Iran’s domestic laws and international obligations.”

In response to the UN’s concern for the plight of the border couriers, Iran said: “[I]t is very difficult to distinguish drug traffickers and armed bandits from real [Kulbaran] at [the] borders.”

Iranian laws dictate the border guards can fire their weapon only if they believe the trespasser is armed and dangerous and only after following these steps: first, an oral warning; second, by shooting into the air; and third, targeting the lower body if they must fire.

“[The spilling of] Kurdish blood is halal in Iran,” Rebin Rahmani, an activist from Paris, told Kurdistan24, using the Islamic term for what is “permissible.”


Editing by Karzan Sulaivany