A Cleric from Baneh, who had criticised the government’s policies in connection with the killings of Kolbars, was arrested and transferred to an unknown location.

Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) has been informed that Mamousta Abdul Baghchi Saeedi, the former Prayer Imam of the Tarkhan Abad Mosque of Baneh, was arrested by security forces and transferred to an undisclosed location on Sunday, December 11.

On Friday, November 30, during the funeral ceremony of a Kolbar, Hadi Salimi who shot by border forces, this Prayer Imam, severely criticised the high unemployment rates in Kurdistan’s border areas, as well as the killings of Kolbars forced to turn into working as a Kolbar due to poverty.

So far, there is no information available about the status of this detained cleric.

During the past week, three Kolbars have been directly shot and killed in the Baneh and Piranshahr border areas by Iranian border guards.

While civil protests to killing of Kolbars are heard every day, there is no change in the government’s policy. In the latest statements by the Iranian military officials the border guard commander, Sardar Qasem Rezaie has defended the killing of kolbars by the border guards while stating that commuters crossing illegal borders will be shot by border guards.

He named kolbars “smugglers” while maintaining that “smuggling” of goods is not a job and anyone crossing the unofficial areas has stepped over the “red line” of border guards. In other words, Qasem Rezaie believes that the border guards are merely conforming to the regulations and supports their action.