Dozens of Kabul residents protested in front of Iran’s embassy in Kabul on Monday in response to allegations of abuse of Afghan refugees in Iran.
The protesters called on the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to stop the forced deportations of Afghan refugees from Iran.
In a declaration, they urged the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to review the videos showing the alleged harassment and even killing of Afghan refugees in Iran.
“We do not condone the terror perpetrated by the Afghans there (Afghans have been implicated in serious crimes in Iran), but we support those who have been stabbed and mistreated in Iran,” said Mustafa Stanekzai, head of the Foundation for the Positive Change of Youth.
Protesters expressed outrage over the videos that allegedly show harm being done to Afghan refugees in Iran.
“The United Nations Human Rights Council should review the Iranian government’s treatment of Afghan refugees and ensure that justice is provided for Afghan victims,” said Abdul Qudus Amani, deputy of the foundation for the Positive Change of Youth.
“It is surprising that the United Nations and human rights groups have been silent about the increasing persecution of Afghan refugees in Iran. Why should Afghans suffer? Why should Afghans always suffer?” said Rayhan Jurat, a member of the Positive Change of Youth Foundation.
“Iran and Iranians! Say no to humiliation and insult!” is the slogan of another group of protesters who reacted to videos posted on social media about the persecution of Afghan refugees.
“It was also proven in the media that an Afghan child was killed in Iran by a punch. Do not Afghans have the right to live in this world? Or live quietly on this earth? We are asking Iran about this cruel behavior,” said Zwak Ghurzang, a protestor.
The broadcast of videos of the persecution of Afghan refugees living in Iran on social media has caused widespread concern and dissatisfaction among the people.
However, the Iran embassy in Kabul claims that the distribution of such videos is the work of those who are systematically attempting to sever ties between the people of the two countries, and they offer as a case in point the airing of videos in which Afghan refugees are also blamed for crimes in Iran. In a special interview with TOLOnews, Bahadur Aminian, Iran ambassador to Kabul, said that Iran is currently hosting more than five million Afghans as there has been no change in Tehran’s policy toward Afghan refugees.
“We have a group called the People’s Mujahideen Organization of Iran, which has appointed thousands of people just to release clips… they are active in Afghanistan and Iran as well and everywhere,” he said.
This comes as the Iran embassy in Kabul on Saturday released a statement referring to Iranian border forces’ treatment of Afghans, saying Tehran has created no hurdles to welcome Afghan migrants but Iranian forces are obliged to prevent illegal migrations.
Aminian told TOLOnews that the videos—which show Afghan refugees being harassed—are made by some circles who seek to make plots to undermine the relations between Kabul and Tehran.
“They are from the previous government but are cooperating with the caretaker government as well,” he said.
He also said that the Afghan embassy in Tehran is working in cooperation with the caretaker government of Afghanistan.
Aminian called for a national reconciliation process to pave the ground for a good environment in the country, and therefore the massive wave of Afghan migrants heading abroad will stop.—Tolonews