On March 4, a Kolbar (cross border carrier) froze to death at a border area in Sardasht County. Last Monday, in an accident in Baneh County, a Kolbar was severely injured and lost his right foot and vision in his left eye due to a landmine explosion.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Kurdpa, the Kolbar who died was identified as Mohammad Soor-Vardeh, a resident of Sardasht.
Kurdpa also reported that last Monday, a landmine explosion severely injured severely another Kolbar, identified as Foad Mehdi Ebrahimian, age 24, also a resident of Sardasht.
Many poor people living in border areas work as Kolbars to make ends meet. This work is illegal and involves carrying loads on foot across national borders. Yearly, dozens of Kolbars are injured and killed from accidents, dangerous conditions, and border guard shootings.
HRANA’s annual human rights report has specifically documented cases in which military forces’ use of live ammunition against citizens has led to their injury or death. According to the 2020 report, beyond material damages— such as loss of pack animals due to road accidents, frost, or avalanche— 36 Kolbars have been shot dead, and 109 have been injured by military forces and border guards. In this year, five Kolbars lost their lives and five were injured due to freezing cold weather or falling from high.