Afghan refugees in Iran concerned over census

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Afghan refugees in Iran expressed concerned about a census being taken in the country as it may cause problems with their current immigration status.

“Asylum seekers in Iran are afraid of the census because their information is being recorded and they are afraid that they will be fired, and that their employer will not help them fill out the forms,” said Parviz Amiri, an Afghan refugee in Iran.

“The plan to identify and count undocumented Afghan immigrants in Iran has been welcomed by many immigrants in Iran, but there are some who are afraid because they are worried they will not be allowed extensions,” said Asifa Stanekzai, an Afghan refugee rights activist in Iran.

The Islamic Emirate said it has sent a delegation to Iran to study the situation of Afghan refugees and asylum seekers in that country.

“Yes, the issue of immigrants is important to us, and there were reports about this, so we sent a delegation to cooperate in this area and it will return with a positive result,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman of the Islamic Emirate.

Meanwhile, there are reports that hundreds of Afghan refugees are being forcibly deported by the Turkish government.

“Ten months ago we went to Turkey. We were in prison for two months. Nobody was asking about our situation. We asked ‘what is our sin?’, they said ‘you don’t have a government,’” said Mohammad Ismail Safi, an asylum seeker.

“Our situation is bad, there is no money, there is no work, we do not have the money to go to my province of Nangarhar, I do not even have taxi fare,” said Bismillah, a refugee.

Meanwhile, the meetings come after Afghans in several provinces staged protests in reaction to reports of the mistreatment of Afghans by Iran.

“The aim of the meeting is to address the problems of the Afghan refugees in the neighboring countries and to reach a procedure for the Afghans who are living there without any registration,” said the spokesman for the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation.

On Wednesday Kabul residents held a rally in front of the Iranian embassy, calling for unity between the two nations.

“The two brave nations of Afghanistan and Iran must not clash with each other,” said Sayed Maisom Hossieni, a protestor.

“These are plots launched by the enemies, seeking to cause disputes, ” said Sayed Baqir, a protestor.

Earlier, the Foreign Ministry of Iran announced that it had suspended all consultative services following the protests staged by Afghans in front of Iran’s diplomatic missions in Afghanistan.

The reactions that were triggered in Afghanistan after several videos aired on social media showed Afghan refugees being harassed in Iran.—Tolonews

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