The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) on Sunday reacted to the report of the killing and torture of Afghan nationals by Iranian guards, calling it an act that "contradicts all human rights and principles."
In the western province of Herat, allegedly 57 Afghan nationals who tried to enter Iran for work were arrested by the Iranian border security forces who then tortured the Afghans and threw some of them into a river--in which some died--according to an Afghan claiming to be a victim and also family members of alleged victims. The sources said the incident occurred on Wednesday.
The Afghan government has assigned a delegation to probe the incident, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The human rights commission calls on the Afghan government to thoroughly share the incident with the Iranian government and take the issue to the International Court of Justice and the United Nations Committee against Torture.
“This case is a major violation of human rights,” the deputy head of the commission, Naeem Nazari, said. “The government of Afghanistan, as a protector of citizens’ rights, should investigate the issue thoroughly and should approach the government of Iran.”
A survivor of the incident claims that Iranian guards fired two shots at him but missed.
“I told them that I cannot swim. They shot two bullets at me. We were 57 people and we had 23 casualties,” said an eyewitness of the incident.
“They were going to Iran for a better life and for work,” said a relative of one of the victims.
The Iranian consulate in Herat has rejected the involvement of Iran’s border guards in the incident. But Fawzia Kofi, former chairperson of Afghan parliament’s human rights committee, said this is not the first time Afghan refugees have faced violence by Iranian and Pakistani border forces.
“The Afghan people are expecting the government of Afghanistan to assess the issue through diplomatic channels,” said Kofi.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Gran Hewad said the government’s investigation team for the incident is led by the deputy minister of foreign affairs.
Taliban has also said in a statement that Iranian guards have tortured 57 Afghan refugees in the bordering areas between the two countries, killing 23.