Protestors in the western city of Herat on Tuesday gathered in front of the United Nations office to demand that an investigation by the UN be launched into the alleged drowning of Afghan migrants by the Iranian border police last month.
At the end of April over 50 Afghan migrants were trying to cross the border when they were “tortured and drowned” by Iranian guards, according to eyewitnesses.
Meanwhile, the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said that it had shared the outcome of its investigation with Iranian officials, but Iran has rejected the result of their probe.
“The Afghan border commissioners shared evidence and documents with the Iranian side, but, unfortunately, they weren’t endorsed by the Iran delegation,” said Geran Hewad, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Recently, 250 Iranian university lecturers, civil society activists and human rights defenders also condemned the drowning of Afghan migrants. They called for the compensation of migrants’ families and an apology by the Iran government.
“We want to call on the Iranian government to investigate the killing and the drowning of our compatriots,” said Abdul Qadeer Jamshidi, a protestor in Herat.
“Afghan migrants have seen major miseries, it was proved that Iran committed this, but everyone is silent. Why don't they explain it? How long should the Afghan people be sacrificed?" asked Halima Pazhwok, a resident in Herat.
“Migrants have been killed in different ways over the years, they are even thrown into a river...we call on the UN to launch a probe into this case,” said Wakil Ahmad Nekzad, a resident in Herat.
“A delegation that came from Kabul to Herat had meetings here and there but there was no outcome,” said Fahim Alokozay, a resident in Herat.
“The people want clarification on the case. The work of the probe team is also unclear,” said Sayed Ashraf Sadat, a civil society activist.
On Thursday, May 14, the Afghan investigation team announced that the bodies of 2 more Afghan migrants who were allegedly drowned by Iranian border police were found in Harirod River.
Abdul Hamid Tahmasi, the head of the government’s 10-member team, said that thirteen bodies had been discovered from a 46-member Afghan migrants group who were on their way to Iran illegally. However, 15 people were still missing.
“Two bodies have been found. We had 17 people missing on the list, but four of them were the smugglers who were transferring migrants on the other side of the border. 13 people were ordinary men,” said Tahmasi on Thursday.
According to Tahmasi, a similar drowning incident had happened with another six-member group of Afghan migrants.
“They were part of a six-member group who had been expelled from the same route. In the investigations, these six people said that they were not part of the 46 member group of migrants. But we found that there was a similar incident,” said Tahmasi.
On May 8, Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani tasked a 10-member team to probe reports of the drowning of dozens of Afghan migrants by Iranian border security forces earlier this week.