Indiscriminate Killings of Kurdish civilians known as Kulbar is rising in Iranian Kurdistan

Indiscriminate Killings of Kurdish civilians known as Kulbar is rising in Iranian Kurdistan

Even though the current Islamic Republic administration pledged to change its security approach toward Iranian Kurdistan, the indiscriminate killings of Kurdish Kulbaran (border couriers or tradesmen) has dramatically increased in first half of 2017, as compared to available statistics in previous year (2016). The indiscriminate and blind killing of Kurdish Kulbaran takes place in blatant violation of Iran’s domestic laws and international obligations.

KMMK-G has received reports of indiscriminate and blind killings of 144 border couriers known as Kulbar in the first seven months of 2017. Iranian border security forces killed 47 kulbars, and injured 97 kulbars. Border security forces involved in indiscriminate and blind killings do not respect Iranian domestic laws, which authorize the use of lethal force only as a last resort. Moreover, authorities arrested a significant number of kulbaran in 2017, confiscating their goods. In addition, hundreds of horses belonging to Kurdish Kulbars were also shot dead.

Due to high rates of unemployment, and land contamination caused by landmines and explosive remnants of the Iran-Iraq war that hamper seriously the daily life of civilians particularly the farmers, the nomads, the shepherds and traders, the Kurdish youth and farmers from four Kurdish provinces of Kermanshah, Kurdistan, Ilam and Wermê (West Azerbaijan) engage in smuggling commodities, such as tea, tobacco and fuel to earn a living.

(فارسی) فشار نهادهای امنیتی رژیم به روحانیت در کوردستان افزایش مضاعف یافته است

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(فارسی) ارسال پیامک تهدیدآمیز تحت عنوان “اتمام حجت با مشمولان غایب”

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(فارسی) روانسریها با عدم حضور در مکان اعدام همشهریشان، به اعدام “نه” گفتند

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(فارسی) یک شهروند دیگر کورد در شهرستان سقز از سوی ماموران اطلاعات سپاه دستگیر و شکنجه شد

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The KMMK-G urges the German Federal Foreign Minister Mr. Steinmeier and EU Foreign Commission to condemn the execution of at least 21 Kurdish faith prisoners in Iran

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The KMMK-G urges the German Federal Foreign Minister Mr. Steinmeier and EU Foreign Commission to condemn the execution of at least 21 Kurdish faith prisoners in Iran  

Dear Sir,

On Tuesday August 2, 2016, at dawn, at least 36 Kurdish faith prisoners were reported hanged in Rajai Shahr Prison, Karaj in Tehran, Iran. The Iranian authorities have finally confirmed the execution of 20 of them[1]. These Kurdish prisoners were sentenced to death penalty for moharebe (the imaginary crime against god) based on confessions extracted under torture and hasty and unfair trials. Today, we received as well the report of execution of six other Kurdish prisoners in Kurdistan.

According to Iran Prison Atlas, currently out of 915 political prisoners documented, 390 are Kurds.[2] 75% of the prisoners sentenced to mohareb (the imaginary crime of enmity against God) are Kurds. Meanwhile, more than 97% of the executions in the ethnic territories were either carried out secretly or were not announced by official Iranian media.[3] Since the establishment of the Islamic Republic, 14,000 prisoners have been executed for drug-related offences[4], the absolute majority of whom were Kurds, Balochis and Afghan refugees.[5]A significant number of these victims are political prisoners and ethnic rights activists who were executed under the cover of drug offences.

In 2015, Iran was the second highest executioner in the world after China but first per capita.


Finally, while we strongly condemn the executions of Kurdish faith prisoners in Iran, we ask the Foreign Minister Steinmeier to urge the EU countries to condition it’s foreign policy on Iran on the respect of human rights especially the political rights of Kurdish people in the Islamic Republic of Iran.


Taimoor Aliassi

UN Representative of the Association for Human Rights in Kurdistan of Iran-Geneva (KMMK-G)

Akram Nasan

Human Rights defender

[1] Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, the Attorney General of Iran, has confirmed the execution of 20 Sunni prisoners at Karaj’s Rajai Shahr Prison on Tuesday August 2

[2] Iran Prison Atlas at United4Iran: <>

[3] Iran Human Rights’ (IHR) Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran (2015), March 2016: <> and <>

[4] According to Dr. Christensen Janne Bjerre, a Danish antrhopologist, between 1979 and 2011, approximately 10,000 people were executed for drug-related offences on Iran. Further, in the last 5 years, an estimate of 3800 prisoners were executed for drugs according Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Therefore, we can say that an approximate number of 14,000 prisoners were executed for drug-related offences since the early days of the Islamic Revolution. For more context, you can refer to:

– Aliassi, Taimoor, Drug Addition as a Human Rights Issue in Iran: Advoacy and Mobalization of NGOs and Media in Kurdistan of Iran, Université de Genève, June 2013: <>

– Christensen, Janne Bjerre. 2011. Drugs, Deviancy and Democracy in Iran: The Interaction of State and Civil Society. London: Tauris Academic Studies, p. 123-124


[5] Hhinnomaz, Ota ; Sheeran, Scott ; & Bevilacqua, Catherine, The Death Penalty for Drug Crimes in Iran : Analysis of Iran’s International Human rights Obligations, Human Rights in Iran Unit of University of Essex, March 2014 : <>


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