Crime Justice

Horror, outrage as Afghan migrants burned to death by Iranian forces

By Omar

This screenshot from a bystander's video shows a vehicle carrying Afghan migrants on fire after Iranian forces opened fire at them June 3 in Mehriz city, Yazd Province.

This screenshot from a bystander's video shows a vehicle carrying Afghan migrants on fire after Iranian forces opened fire at them June 3 in Mehriz city, Yazd Province.

HERAT -- The brutal deaths of three Afghan migrants at the hands of Iranian security personnel, caught on video and shared on social media, have sparked outrage and widespread condemnation in Afghanistan.

The video taken on June 3 shows a car ablaze with a number of passengers burned to death in Mehriz, Yazd Province.

"The patrol was following them; it attacked them and left [the area]," says someone with an apparent Iranian accent in the video.

Two youth in Afghan attire are seen near the car after it burned up. One of them says that the vehicle caught fire after being attacked by Iranian security forces.

Afghan Ambassador to Iran Abdul Ghafoor Liwal visits one of the injured in the hospital in Yazd Province on June 6 as he lies handcuffed to his hospital bed. [Courtesy of Afghan embassy in Tehran]

Afghan Ambassador to Iran Abdul Ghafoor Liwal visits one of the injured in the hospital in Yazd Province on June 6 as he lies handcuffed to his hospital bed. [Courtesy of Afghan embassy in Tehran]

Dozens of Helmand residents burn the Iranian flag on June 9 during an anti-Iranian rally in Lashkargah, Helmand Province. [Salaam Times]

Dozens of Helmand residents burn the Iranian flag on June 9 during an anti-Iranian rally in Lashkargah, Helmand Province. [Salaam Times]

Iranian officials confirmed their involvement in the incident, which left three dead and eight seriously wounded.

"Yesterday, Yazd police forces patrolling transportation routes toward Yazd Province ordered some suspicious vehicles carrying foreign nationals and drugs to stop," Abas Ali Behdani, security commander of Yazd Province, told Iranian media on June 4.

"Yazd security officers were able to stop three vehicles as they signalled them, arresting a number of foreign nationals and seizing some drugs," he said.

"But one of the vehicles ignored police signals and warning shots and sped up [to escape]. The police shot out its tires, causing the vehicle to hit the curb and catch fire," Behdani claimed.

The Afghan embassy in Tehran confirmed the death of three Afghans and said that it has started its own investigation of the incident with support from the Afghan consulate in Zahedan Province.

"When the Afghan embassy found out that a vehicle transporting Afghan migrants caught fire, leaving some of our countrymen dead and injured, we reacted to the incident within the very first moments afterward and shared it with relevant Iranian agencies through diplomatic channels," said Abdul Ghafoor Liwal, the Afghan ambassador to Iran.

"We are working to learn more about the incident and better investigate it," he said.

An unforgivable crime

This appears to be the second time in less than two months that Iranian forces have killed Afghan migrants.

On April 22, the Iranian border forces threw 47 Afghans into a river in the Dahan-e Zulfiqar border area, leading to the drownings of 29. Tehran denies the accusations, but Afghanistan is investigating.

Recent incidents show that the Iranian government has chosen a dangerous stance toward Afghan migrants, said Sayed Ashraf Sadaat, a civil society activist in Herat.

"One day Afghans are thrown in the river, and another day a vehicle carrying them is shot up and the passengers are burned alive," he said. "These risky plots against Afghan migrants have continued for years in Iran."

"Cases of the murder and torture of Afghans are rarely disclosed to the media as they're always concealed by the Iranian government," Sadaat said. "Only the cases of drowning workers and setting fire to a vehicle transporting migrants were leaked to the media."

"Burning human beings alive is just like an act of [the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS)], and Iranian forces showed that they're as cruel as ISIS in brutality," said Abdul Sattar Hussaini, a member of the Wolesi Jirga representing Farah Province.

"What is worse than the crime of burning human beings alive?" he asked.

The reported mass drowning was not even resolved before Iranian forces perpetrated an even more shocking crime, said Hussaini.

"We have to respond to Iran's brutality against innocent Afghan migrants and workers," he said. "Those who perpetrate these crimes and get away with them should be identified and see punishment. The continuation of such atrocities and crimes is no longer acceptable."

An enemy of Afghanistan

Afghans have called the incident a heinous and unforgivable crime.

Dozens of Helmand residents June 7 burned the Iranian flag in Lashkargah during a protest against the Iranian regime and its treatment of Afghan refugees.

"Shame on you if you call yourselves human beings," said Anjila Omer, a resident of Herat city, addressing the Iranian regime. "The mourning of innocent migrants that you've thrown in the river wasn't even over when you grieved a nation with another brutal act and ridiculed humanity."

"Haven't your tall buildings been built with the help of these workers?" she asked. "Wasn't that enough that you put them in hard labour for small wages?"

"You humiliated them and violated their rights; that wasn't enough so now you're cowardly killing them?" she added.

"This is what we get from the Islamic Republic of Iran... it has proved itself an enemy and devil for Afghanistan," Nabiullah Binish, a local reporter in Badghis Province, wrote in a Facebook post.

"In less than two months, dozens of Afghan citizens were killed in the most inhumane fashion by the security forces of the Satanic republic of Iran," he said.

"These Afghan migrants leave their country and go to Iran for work, but this is how the brutal government of Iran welcomes them," said Binish.

"The Iranian forces fired bullets on a vehicle transporting Afghan migrants until it caught fire," Sayed Abid Paiman said in a Facebook post.

"In this incident, as you can see in the video, a number of migrants are burned alive, and those who have escaped are in a very bad situation. One of these poor people screams, 'I'm burning; bring me some water.'"

"The Satanic republic of Iran is one of the most brutal countries in the world; shame on the infidel regime of Iran and its allies," he added.

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The Iranian government authorities by killing three innocent Afghans and brutally burning them, once again showed that their attributes were not better than those of infidels who are the enemies of Muslims. They indicated that they didn’t know anything with the name of humanity and human dignity. There is no Afghan in the world who has not received pain from foreign countries. May God not have mercy on the Day of Judgment on those who do not have mercy on our Afghans.


Woe to this poor nation! Opportunists use from every crisis as the best opportunity. If people had sympathy, they would have showed it to the martyrdom of our brave soldiers who have been killed in great numbers from the beginning of the year up to now. Or They have showed reactions to the killing of women during child birth, and children when they just opened their eyes, or people when they were killed while they were burying their beloved ones or when people were shot during their religious ceremony. However, they showed no reactions.


Death to the dictatorial regime of Iran. May God inflict this tyrannical government with His anger and torment. Inshallah, God will take revenge of the blood of the poor Afghan immigrants from the government and the terrorist forces of this country, and He will overthrow this authoritarian regime.


Iran is a chronic enemy of the Afghan people. The Iranian army is thirsty for the blood of Afghans. The Iranian army committed a great atrocity against these poor immigrants. Even these oppressors did not give water to the person who was burned and called for a little water, while millions of cubic meters of water of Afghanistan flow into Iran every year. The Afghan government must control Afghanistan's water, which has been flowing into Iran for free for years, and strictly pursue the case of burning of Afghans. If the Afghan government does not take seriously the issue of drowning as well as burning of Afghan refugees, the Afghan people will protest against the government across the country.


The same is true for the issue of Afghanistan's running water. We couldn't use it to our own benefit. Even if we have a good economy and want to build a hydropower dam and manage water, the countries of the region that get advantages from Afghanistan's water create troubles by organizing deadly attacks through their agents. There are many components that strengthen a country's national power as a deterrent to the actions of others, and without doubt, one of the most basic and fundamental components of them is the unity and integration of citizens and the establishment of a strong system that has the support of the people. A system that lacks national support and relies on the outside is very fragile and weak, and by mere turning of the interests of its supporters, it becomes weak. See Turkey as a successful example. Regardless of whether Erdoğan is a good or a bad person, before he takes action, such as sending troops to Syria, etc., he first shows to the world millions of citizens with one voice behind his decision, and then it receives official approval through legal channels such as parliament. Namely, getting approval from a parliament that guaranteed the transparency of the elections by the defeat of the government team in big cities such as Istanbul in the municipal elections so that there is no question among the people. (Part II) With regard Mohammad Yilmaz


What happened to Afghan refugees in Iran is deplorable and a terrible crime, but who is the main culprit? When a country's national power is weak, nothing special can be done except condemnation and a few Facebook insults against the actions of others. We even saw that the victims of the incident met with the ambassador of the country as they were handcuffed with their beds at the hospital. During Karzai's presidency, rumors spread that the president's office had taken money from Iran. If I am not making s mistake, Omar Daudzai was head of the president's office. Later it became clear that Iran was using mines on its border with Afghanistan to extract metals. Since there were few mines on the Iranian side, it might have been accessing the mines located in Afghanistan’s territory through underground tunnels. Maybe the authorities knew, but because of their weakness, they remained silent, as they received money from Iran, and they might have thought that they could not do anything against Iran and at least they could fill their own pockets. Whenever a rumor creates a lot of noise, there are usually traces of reality in it. Think about judging the truth and untruth or falsity of this issue from your own perspective. (Part One)