A number of Afghan refugees who were recently deported from Iran said Monday that Iranian police treated them badly and did not even allow them to see their families before they were sent back to Afghanistan.
According to the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation (MoRR) 200,000 refugees have been deported from Iran since Januaryand at least 140,000 of them do not have official documents.
In the past two years, Afghanistan has witnessed an unprecedented increase in the number of return refugees – from both Iran and Pakistan.
The ministry also confirmed the refugees’ claims of ill-treatment by Iranian police.
Abdul Qadir, a recently deported refugee from Iran, said Iranian police did not let him see his wife and four children before deporting him. Neither would they allow them to travel with him to Afghanistan.
“There were 100 of us that police arrested then transferred us to Zahedan city. All the refugees were held in Zahedan and the number raised to between 2,500 to 3,000. Fifty five buses were full of refugees,” said Qadir.
Qadir said he is extremely worried about his family and does not know what will happen to them.
“I was in detention for four days. My family had come to the detention center and were outside for days and nights. My children were crying,” Qadir added.
“Such treatment is illegal, unethical, irrational and inhuman. If they deport refugees, they should deport them with their families,” said Daud Kalakani, an MP.
The refugees and repatriation ministry however said they are trying to resolve these challenges through legal channels.
“They lack official documents, but it does not mean that a country (Iran) should ill-treat them,” MoRR spokesperson, Islamuddin Jurat said.
According to the ministry, in the first seven months of this year 350,000 refugees returned from Iran and Pakistan and the numbers continue to rise.