21 May 2019 – Two Kurdish border porters known as Kolbars lost their lives and another two were injured last week. On Tuesday, a Kolbar died after drowning in a river near Oshnavieh. 17-year-old Azad Shwana was attempting to cross the river with goods en route to the Gadar border crossing with Iraqi Kurdistan. On Sunday, Iranian border guards attacked a group of Kolbars in Baneh, killing one. Iranian border guards also ambushed a group of Kolbars and wounded two near Piranshahr. The injured Kolbars were transferred to Iraqi Kurdistan for treatment. At least 33 Kolbars have been killed in 2019.

  • Mohammed Assri was transferred to a prison in Urmia after the Islamic Court of Appeals reduced his sentence from five years to one year for membership in “opposition parties.” Assri has been detained since 2018. Meanwhile, three Kurdish environmental activists were transferred to local jails after spending months in Iranian Intelligence (Ettela’at) custody. The Kurdistan Human Rights Association (KMMK) identified the activists as Mahdi Qubadi, Rashad Montazari, and Jalal Rostami. Most Kurdish activists are detained by the Ettela’at, sometimes for months, before receiving a trial.
  • Kurdish political prisoner Barzan Mohammadi’s health continues to deteriorate as a result of his hunger strike against the treatment of the political prisoners in Iran. Mohammadi has been on a hunger strike for two months and was previously sentenced to six years in prison in 2017 for “rallying a group against the national security.”
  • In Marivan, 10 Kurdish activists were arrested by Iranian security forces for “disruption of public order.” The activists were protesting domestic violence against women after an incident resulted in the death of a local Kurdish woman.

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