Marketers in various cities of Kurdistan have gone on strike for the fifth day in protest to the blockade of the unofficial border crossings of Kurdistan and the high cost of customs. Despite the promise of the Supreme Leader’s representative in the National Security Council to follow up their demands, marketers believe that they should continue the protests until their right demands are met.

Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) has been informed that yesterday, April 19, Saeed Jalili (the representative of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, at the Supreme National Security Council) has traveled to Kurdistan and visited the border of Siranband in Baneh where has made a speech at Jameh mosque after last night’s prayer.

According to videos released by protesters in social networks, once Mr Jalili has finished his speech, a number of protesters have strongly condemned the killing of Kolbars by Iranian Disciplinary Forces (NAJA) in border areas and the lack of attention to the demands of kolbars, border businessmen and protesters.

One of these protesting kolbars has said that the Special Forces have spread massively in Baneh to deal with protesters. He also stated that the increasing rate of unemployment in the border areas is remarkably high, so the Kolbars continue to strike and protest until their demands are fulfilled.

Hiva Boland Hemmat, a member of the City Council, said that the current crisis reflects the lack of strong diplomacy of the government with international societies.

Also, a number of protesters opened a loose table in front of the mosque and slogan of “strike strike” when Saeed Jalili wanted to leave the place.

According to the report from Baneh, security forces have arrested a number of demonstrators to end the protests. Three of the arrested citizens have been identified as Resagar Rafahi, Reza Asadi and Mohsen Alizadeh. The troops have also stormed and severely battered many protesters at home in the past few nights. One of the protesters beaten at his home has been identified as Ribavar Salehi.

“The government officials say that they have created 950,000 jobs, while 70 to 80 thousand people are unemployed due to blockage of the borders and prohibition of working as Kolbars legally.”, Rasul Khezri, a representative of Sardasht and Piranshahr in parliament, told Khaneye Mellat website.

He also criticised the lack of government involvement in the issue and stated that thousands of kolbars had lost their job and hundreds of shopkeepers had incurred huge losses due to the high cost of clearing the goods at the official borders. “Unfortunately, the government has recently ratified the prohibition of working as a kolbars and the blockade of borders. As a result, over 70-80 thousand Kolbars and 6 million marketers and border businessmen have lost their jobs.”, he continued.

The reports from Javanrood, Mariwan and Piranshahr cities indicate the continued strike of marketers in these cities. Frontier businessmen and protest marketers have also called for government officials to meet their demands by holding a protest rally.

On Saturday, the widespread strike of marketers and businessman during the business hours and protests in front of the governor’s buildings and municipalities of these cities after working hours have been reported in Baneh, Javanrood, Mariwan, Saghez and Sardasht.