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Deported Afghans from Iran recount hardship

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Kabul | August 6, 2022 11:57:44 PM IST
Afghans who faced various hardships post the Taliban take over fled to Iran, however many of them were deported last week shared their experience of extreme hardship and mistreatment.

Khaled and his sister Fatima and the rest of their family were forced to come to Afghanistan by Iranian forces. They illegally went to Iran through Nimroz, reported Tolo News.

"We were compelled to go to Iran, here there are no working opportunities. Everyone knows that illegal trips come with problems. There, you can find difficult work with low incomes," said Khalid.

"When they arrested us, we were faced with immoral and hideous threats. Some of them are good people, but many of them think Afghans are not human," said Fatima.

Afghanistan's citizens say they faced threats to reach Iran. As per them, unemployment and poverty are the main reasons behind the illegal travel of Afghan citizens to neighbouring countries, particularly to Iran, reported Tolo News.

"Singles or married, everyone who is going to Iran is leaving due to poverty. They arrested us and treated us with cruelty," said Baridad, a deportee.

Local officials in Nimroz province said they shared the accusations of mistreatment with the Taliban high officials in order to address the issue through diplomacy, reported Tolo News.

"Some Afghans, mainly singles, complained about the treatment of Iranian forces across the border. They claimed mistreatment and torture by Iranian forces," said Mohammad Reza Khalili, a border official.

"There are problems in the ways against refugees. They sometimes expel them from Iran," said Mallawi Sediqullah Nusrat, head of the Refugees and Repatriations Directorate of Nimroz.

Hundreds of Afghans daily head to Iran to seek work opportunities, but Iranian officials deport those who illegally arrive.

In April, an Afghan delegation led by the Taliban's acting minister of refugees and repatriations said that they are likely to visit Iran's capital Tehran to hold talks over refugee-related challenges and the border tension.

"We are trying to visit Iran to talk about all the problems that Afghans are struggling with there; we hope we can talk and solve the problems," said Khalilurahman Haqqani, acting minister of refugee and repatriations, according to Tolo News.

Pakistan remains the largest country of asylum for Afghans, with 1.5 million Afghans residing in Pakistan, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) report.

For the past five years, Afghanistan's situation has been a peculiar one in the region with a steady increase of forcibly displaced people every year. Last year, Afghanistan's situation deteriorated dramatically with a 12 per cent increase of forcibly displaced persons by the end of the year compared to end-2020.

According to the report, neighbouring countries experienced influxes of Afghans fleeing the country.

UNHCR in Iran, Pakistan and Tajikistan pre-screened/pre-registered Afghans who may be in need of international protection. By the end of 2021, the number of new arrivals who approached UNHCR and Partners were the following: in Pakistan (1,08,000), Tajikistan (2,700) and Iran (27,800) reached 1,38,500. (ANI)

 
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