Human Rights

Recovered bodies of drowned migrants show signs of torture

AFP

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The bodies of two Afghan migrants who drowned after Iranian guards reportedly forced them into a river can be seen in this undated photo in Herat city. [Muhammad Hanif Atmar/Twitter]

HERAT -- Afghan authorities have recovered 18 bodies of migrants who were allegedly beaten and tortured before being forced into a river by Iranian border guards last week, a senior Afghan official said Friday (May 8).

Afghan officials are investigating claims that the migrants drowned while illegally crossing into neighbouring Iran from Herat Province. The incident happened on May 1, local media reported.

"Out of 55 Afghan migrants who were forced into the river, we have so far recovered 18 bodies," Abdul Ghani Noori, the governor of Gulran District bordering Iran, told AFP.

Six migrants are still missing while others survived, said Noori.

The bodies "bear signs of beating and torture", Noori said.

"Based on the accounts of survivors and the marks on the bodies of the victims, they were first lashed with wire cables by the Iranian border guards and then forced at gunpoint to jump into the river," he said.

The Iranian guards made the migrants cross the Harirod River, and "as a result a number of them drowned", the Afghanistan Human Rights Commission said last week.

Iranian authorities have dismissed the claims, saying the incident occurred inside Afghanistan's territory.

The United States has backed the Kabul government's decision to investigate the incident.

"Iran's cruel treatment and abuse of Afghan migrants alleged in these reports is horrifying," outgoing US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells said on Twitter earlier this week.

"Those found guilty of such abuse must be held accountable," she added.

Between 1.5 million and 3 million Afghan refugees are living and working in Iran, most of them as wage labourers on construction projects.

Tens of thousands returned to Afghanistan after the coronavirus outbreak, but as restrictions ease in badly hit Iran, many are again seeking work there.

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Today, almighty Allah took revenge of the innocent Afghans from the dirty Iranians as they killed their soldiers themselves; however, in the meantime, it is necessary not to ignore the following suggestion of the Afghan General Dawlat Waziri who says; "Attention! Forget about the killing of Afghans, because everyone kills them, the world community has to be strictly careful, because sometimes Iranians shoot civilian aircrafts with their rockets and kill innocent people, and sometimes they target their own vessels, and kill tens of their poor soldiers. There are two options; one is that Iranians should not be allowed to make rockets, and or that they should be taught how to shoot rockets properly. Killing and drowning of Afghans do not need any efforts for targeting."

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It is clear that Iran tortured and killed these Afghans. Throughout the history, Iran and Iranians have mistreated Afghans. Iran and Iranians are fierce enemies of Afghans and have always treated Afghans like animals. Death to these criminals. Death to the cruel government of Iran.

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