Iran deports more than 21,400 Afghan migrants to Afghanistan: Report
Iranian guards detained and deported 21,407 Afghan migrants to Afghanistan who had crossed into Iran illegally.
Iranian guards detained and deported 21,407 Afghan migrants to Afghanistan who had crossed into Iran illegally, the Taliban-appointed commander of the border guards in Khorasan Razavi province said, reported Afghanistan-based Khaama Press. Majid Shuja, the Taliban-appointed commander of the border guards in Khorasan Razavi, said that these migrants had been identified during the past nine days when they entered Iran "illegally."
Shuja said that the migrants were handed over to the Taliban's representative in the Dogharun district, Khaama Press reported. More than 328,000 Afghan migrants have been deported from Iran in the first six months of 2023, according to Khaama Press report. The deportation of Afghan migrants follows reports from Afghan returnees to Iran indicating that some of them, even with official residency permits, were detained and deported.
Last week, Afghan refugees in Iran raised concerns regarding the increase in deportations, arrests, and harassment by the police, TOLO News reported. The Taliban has called on neighbouring countries to not deport Afghan refugees. "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, TOLO News reported.
Deportation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan has intensified, and now Iran has also initiated forced deportations. One refugee expressed anxiety about returning to Afghanistan. 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. At the same time, Pakistan's interim government has decided to deport Afghan migrants forcefully from its country on November 1. Since then, Pakistan has deported more than 220,000 Afghan migrants. (ANI)
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