Amnesty International said this week that a surge of failed Afghan asylum seekers "forcibly" returned from Europe are at risk of torture, kidnapping and death in war-torn Afghanistan.
According to Amnesty International, 9,500 Afghans were returned home in 2016, after their asylum applications were rejected – compared to 3,300 the previous year.
This figure covers asylum seekers who were detained and then deported from European countries, and those who "ostensibly voluntarily" returned with financial assistance, according to the report.
"European governments are forcing increasing numbers of asylum seekers back to the dangers from which they fled, in brazen violation of international law," Amnesty said in their report.
The report states that Afghans forcibly returned from Europe include unaccompanied children and young adults who were children at the time when they arrived in Europe. Several people Amnesty International interviewed for the report were sent to parts of Afghanistan they had never known, despite the dangerous situation and impunity for crimes such as torture.
“These returns brazenly violate international law and must stop immediately. The same European countries that once pledged support for a better future for Afghans are now crushing their hopes and abandoning them to a country that has become even more dangerous since they fled,” said Horia Mosadiq, Amnesty International’s Afghanistan Researcher.
According to a recent United Nations report nearly 11,500 civilians were killed or wounded in 2016, one third of them children.
As part of its research for the report Amnesty said it gathered testimony from 18 Afghan men, women and children "forcibly returned" to Afghanistan.
One woman sent back with her family from Norway said her husband was kidnapped and murdered a few months after they returned to Afghanistan while in another case a two-year-old child forced to leave Norway with his family was wounded in a Daesh attack on a Shiite mosque in Kabul in October last year.
Amnesty called on European countries to suspend further deportations until the situation in Afghanistan "permits returns to take place in safety and dignity".