Sep 15, 2017

Iranian Kurdistan: Human Rights Groups Decry Murders of Kolbars

On the occasion of the regular session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, international and Kurdish human rights groups urged Iran to put an end to extrajudicial killings of Kurdish civilians. In particular, the groups informed the Council about the systematic killing of Kurdish cross-border porters, the so-called kolbars, by Iranian border guards, as well as the authorities’ brutal crackdown on peaceful protests in Iranian Kurdistan. In a joint statement, they urged the UN to investigate state-sponsored discriminations and violence against Kurds, as well as against all other ethnic and religious minorities in Iran.

Below is an article published by Kurdistan 24 

In a joint statement presented to the United Nations, Kurdish and international rights groups urged Iran to stop killing and detaining Kurdish civilians.

Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort (ECPM) and its partner the Association for Human Rights in Kurdistan of Iran-Geneva (KMMK-G) drew the attention of the Special Rapporteur and the 36th Session of the Human Rights Council to Iran’s “systematic repression and indiscriminate killings of Kurdish civilians.”

Taimoor Eliassi, the President of KMMK-G, spoke about the shooting of Kulbaran Haidar Faraji, 21, and Qader Bahrami, a 45-year-old father of four, by Iranian border guards in Baneh and the subsequent protests and crackdown in the Kurdish region of Iran.

“This is not an isolated episode,” Eliassi told the UN Council. “The two are among the 149 Kurdish civilians who have been victims of extra-judicial shootings since the beginning of the year.”

He added that Iranian authorities responded to peaceful protests with force, undermining the legitimate demands of halting the murder of Kulbar and bringing the killers to justice.

“Kurdish cities were militarized. According to reports that the KMMK-G received, police sprayed tear gas and used plastic bullets, which injured civilians. Dozens were also detained,” he told the Council.

The rights groups asked the UN to investigate the discriminations not only against Kurds but all ethnic and religious minorities in Iran.

“We call on the Special Rapporteur along with other UN mandate holders and this Council to condemn the indiscriminate killings of the Kurdish civilian,” the statement read.

The report also urged “Iran to halt violence and discrimination against Kurdish citizens and other minorities.”

Dozens of Iranian Kurds have been arbitrarily detained in the aftermath of peaceful demonstrations across the region in protest to the unaccountable killing of Kulbar, a rights organization said.

According to the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN), the arrest of over 30 activists has been reported.


Photo credit: Ninara via / CC BY