This footage shows thugs from the Iranian regime’s Internal Security Forces (ISF) unit assaulting Kurdish protesters at a demonstration held in the town of Banah in Iranian Kurdistan on Tuesday, September 5 to protest at the latest killing by regime troops of two Kurdish porters, known as kolbars. The men were shot dead, apparently at random, as they carried heavy backpacks through the narrow gorges of the mountainous area on the Iranian-Iraqi border.
Activists at the protest posted video footage and photographs showing thousands of people assembled in the area around the governorate headquarters building in the border town. The ISF forces reportedly attacked the protesters indiscriminately, wounding several and arresting a number of youths. According to the Kurdish site Kordpa, the security forces used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators when they stormed the governorate HQ building in protest.
Shop owners in Banah have staged a general strike since Monday last week in solidarity with the demonstrations and to protest the killing of the two kolbars.
Another news agency, the Harana Agency, quoted Kurdish rights activists who said that the protesters had called on the authorities to end this brutal and indiscriminate gunfire on the porters and other defenceless people, as well as demanding the ousting of the governor of the city of Banah over his failure to prevent the routine targeting of innocent citizens.
Thousands of Kurds who live in conditions of abject poverty resort to the arduous and dangerous work of kolbars, carrying backbreaking loads of smuggled foodstuffs and other goods through the rugged and steep mountain passes between Iraq and Iran in exchange for a pittance in pay, with dozens shot dead every year by police, border guards or troops from the regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).