mercredi 3 février 2016

Irak, Syrie, Iran : les contrebandiers kurdes

Panorama
Kurdish Smugglers

photo stories   
Kurdish Smugglers
by Aram Karim

Poverty and lack of alternative opportunities has pushed many people living on the borders of Iraq, Syria and Iran (Kurdistan) to smuggle goods, despite the grave risks associated with doing so.

Everything from clothes, to make-up, electronic goods or alcohol (forbidden in Iran) is taken across these borders, and those involved face arrest or even death for an average of just $US8 per journey.

The smugglers make around three journeys per day across treacherous mountain passes and hazardous minefields, following in the footsteps of many before them. They are often ambushed, fired upon or blackmailed by border guards, and are extorted daily by corrupt Kurdish officials.

In these areas, there still exist a very important relationship between a man and his horse, the traditional mode of transport for smuggled goods. Hence, horses are valuable possessions for families living at the borders.

“Whenever the border guards catch us, they kill our horses. There is no other job whatsoever, that’s why I am forced into this work,” one smuggler explains.

Photographer Aram Karim, born in a village in the mountainous border area between Iraq and Iran, has been mingling with smugglers for the past five years, and shares with Panorama his documentation of their daily lives. 
Smuggling Gasoline into Syria 
Syrian smugglers walk for four hours from Iraq to Syria. Due to the recent conflict in Syria there is a gasoline shortage in the country. Syrian smugglers purchase gasoline in Iraq take it to Syria for a profit of about $US0.40 per litre. Smugglers carry between 10-30 litres per person on the seven-hour roundtrip, which often takes them through frozen mud and snow. 
Syrian smugglers count their money in a house in Shlake, Iraqi Kurdistan.

Syrian smugglers transport gallons of petrol to Al-Malikiyah (Derik) Syria.

(Left) Zahir, 20 years old, Iraqi, weighs 82KG and carries a 40KG load. (Centre) Ismael, 31 years old, Iraqi, weighs 85KG and carries a 60KG load. (Right) Dana, 25 years old, Iraqi, weighs 75KG and carries a 60KG load.

Young smugglers at “Aram’s place” wait for nightfall to start working along the Iraq-Iran border.

When the photographer was returning to Iraq, the YPG sent this dog with him and said, “Follow the dog and do not choose another way, because the dog knows where there are land mines, and how to avoid the army.” When they reached the border into Iraq, the dog separated, heading back to its village.

Iraqi smugglers get ready to cross the border with their heavy loads at Zalle, Iraqi Kurdistan.

An Iraqi smuggler carries new tires that will be smuggled into Iran from Zalle village, Iraqi Kurdistan.

A PJAK (Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan) fighter at the checkpoint all smugglers go through and pay a fee.

Portrait of a smuggler, Chomi Choman, Iraqi Kurdistan, Iraq-Iran border. 
Kurdish Smugglers Ferry Goods Between Iraq and Iran 
Hundreds of smugglers cross the river on the Iran-Iraq border. Thousands of Kurdish smugglers make a living ferrying goods between Iraq and Iran. They smuggle everything from clothes, to make-up, to alcohol (which is forbidden in Iran). 
A smuggler heads towards the border with goods strapped to his back. The smugglers make around 100,000 Iranian Rials (Around $US8) per journey, with an average three journeys a day.

A self-portrait of the photographer.

A family from Sune village, Iraqi Kurdistan prepares for a picnic. 
Smuggling Gasoline into Syria 
Syrian smugglers walk for four hours from Iraq to Syria. Due to the recent conflict in Syria there is a gasoline shortage in the country. Syrian smugglers purchase gasoline in Iraq take it to Syria for a profit of about $US0.40 per litre. Smugglers carry between 10-30 litres per person on the seven-hour roundtrip, which often takes them through frozen mud and snow.

An Iraqi smuggler on his way to Iran fixes the straps he uses to load tires onto his horse.

An Iraqi smuggler plays with his mule in the water to freshen up in the summer heat.

Khesraw (C) writes receipts for the smugglers to take across the border. The receipts ensure that the smugglers are paid once they reach the other side. Thousands of Kurdish smugglers make a living ferrying goods between Iraq and Iran.

Smugglers collect empty jerry cans outside Shanaxse village, Iraqi Kurdistan, Iraq-Iran border.

A view of the mountains where the smugglers tracks are visible. Smugglers walks on these paths with their horses to reach the border with Iran and smuggle goods into the country at night.

Women from Zeuke village lay a rug to dry outside their house.

A bridge on one of the smugglers trails between Iraq and Iran.
Kurdish Smugglers Ferry Goods Between Iraq and Iran
The interior of a smugglers den near the Iran-Iraq border.

An Iraqi smuggler prepares his horse to carry goods by night across the Iraq-Iran border.

A group of smugglers at a dinner party. The man smoking at the back is a well-known smuggler in Marwe, Iraqi Kurdistan.

This lorry transports smuggled goods to the warehouse in Zale Village, Iraqi Kurdistan.

Smugglers on their way to Iran.

A smuggler from Iran carrying refined fuel reaches the border after the 5 km walk.
Source : http://panorama.madamasr.com/2015/kurdish-smugglers/
  
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