Afghan Refugees In Iran Complain Of Intensifying Deportation, Harassment

According to reports, over 20,000 Afghan refugees have returned from Iran in past week.

Kabul:

Afghan refugees in Iran are raising concerns regarding increase in deportations, arrests, and harassment by the police, TOLO News reported.

The Taliban has called on neighbouring countries to not deport Afghan refugees. Deportation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan have intensified, and now Iran has also initiated forced deportations.

One refugee expressed anxiety about returning to Afghanistan, citing a recent rise in harassment and deportations.

A member of the defenders of Afghan refugees in Iran, Enayatullah Alokozay, said: “There is forced deportation of Afghan refugees from Iran. It has been going on and these days the process is progressing more quickly.”

Afghan refugee representatives in Iran have criticized the Iranian government and the international community for their perceived lack of support and have called on them to address the challenges faced by Afghan refugees.

“Afghan refugees are being deported from Iran. The Iranian people and government are very oppressive towards refugees. Iran pushes out refugees ahead of winter when it is not right,” said Spogmai Jabbarkhil, an Afghan refugees’ representative in Iran, as per TOLO News.

“Afghan refugees in Iran face various challenges in the employment market, with housing and the lack of identity documents,” said Asefa Stanikzai, a refugee affairs analyst.

The Taliban has said that neighbouring countries should not deport Afghan refugees by force.

“Do not deport refugees by force and do not treat them illegally. Our message to Iran and Pakistan is to be tolerant of the migrants, not to be oppressive and stop the persecution,” Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said.

According to the Herat Department of Refugees and Repatriations, over 20,000 Afghan refugees have returned from Iran in the past week, as per TOLO News.

Meanwhile, more than 6,500 Afghan nationals left Pakistan through the Torkham border on Sunday, taking the number of repatriated Afghans to more than 174,350, Pakistan-based Dawn newspaper reported citing border officials.

Afghan nationals started leaving Pakistan after the government gave a deadline to all unregistered foreign nationals to leave Pakistan by October 31, after which action would be taken against them as per law.

Officials said 174,358 Afghan nationals have departed for Afghanistan since September 17. According to officials, voluntary repatriation is still underway; however, the number continues to decline with each passing day.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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