Crime Justice

Foreign Ministry pushes back on Tehran's complaint of migrant protests

By Khalid Zerai

Dozens of Nangarhar Province residents gathered on June 10, 2020, in front of the Iranian consulate in Jalalabad to condemn the recent killing of Afghan migrants by Iranian forces. [Khalid Zerai]

JALALABAD -- The Afghan Foreign Ministry has pushed back on Iran's complaint of the ongoing protests throughout Afghanistan surrounding the series of incidents involving the deaths of Afghan migrants at the hands of Iranian security forces.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Saturday (June 13) summoned Afghan Ambassador to Iran Abdul Ghafoor Liwal over anti-Iranian protests in Afghanistan, the Afghan Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The Afghan ambassador noted that every Afghan citizen has the right to arrange a peaceful gathering accordance with the laws and rights of the citizen,” the ministry said.

In one incident on June 3 that was caught on video, Iranian forces shot at a vehicle carrying Afghan migrants in Mehriz city, Yazd Province, leaving three dead and eight seriously wounded in the resulting flames.

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Nangarhar residents, including women, gather in front of the Iranian consulate in Jalalabad, Nangarhar Province, on June 10, to seek justice for Afghan migrants who were killed by Iranian forces last week in Yazd Province. [Khalid Zerai]

The incident sparked a number of anti-Iranian protests in Kabul, Helmand, Farah and Herat provinces, with participants burning the Iranian flag as well as portraits of the country's leaders.

Dozens of Nangarhar residents gathered on June 10 in front of the Iranian consulate in Jalalabad city to protest the slaying of Afghan migrants by Iranian security forces, and called for an investigation.

Ruqia, a 14-year-old girl who goes by only one name and attended the protest, held a piece of paper that said the "burning and drowning of innocent labourers by the brutal [Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei regime is an unforgivable crime."

"We have gathered here to convey our message to Iran that we will not forgive the death of our workers whom they shot and burned," Ruqia said.

"Iranians did not have mercy; they killed and burned our brothers who wanted to go to Iran. Not only that, but they handcuffed the wounded ones in the hospital, which is an inhumane act," Ahmad Sharq, a participant at the rally, told reporters.

"We want the Afghan government to seriously investigate this and hold them [Iran] responsible," he said.

The Iranian regime has "always oppressed Afghans, which we can no longer remain silent about," said Zahra, another protester who goes by one name.

"We are speaking out against the [Iranian regime] and calling on the international community to hold these Akhunds accountable for the killing of Afghans," she said, adding that the regime has "always oppressed and committed violence against migrants".

President Ashraf Ghani at a cabinet meeting on June 8 ordered Muhammad Hanif Atmar, the acting foreign minister, to investigate the fatal vehicle-burning incident in Yazd Province through diplomatic channels.

The government of Iran is investigating the killing of Afghan migrants in the country, while an Afghan delegation will soon travel to Iran to look into the deadly incident in Yazd Province, the Afghan Foreign Ministry said in a press statement on June 10.

The ministry presented a report of the killing of Afghan migrants by Iranian forces at Afghanistan's National Security Council meeting on June 10.

"It was decided at the National Security Council meeting that a high-ranking Afghan delegation will be sent to Iran to explore solutions, prevent the recurrence of terrible incidents like the recent ones, and look into the causes of these bloody incidents," it said in the statement.

The delegation "will seek to find a solution to the problems within the framework of the interaction of mutual interests, maintaining friendship and expanding co-operation", the ministry said in another statement June 13.

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Shame on National Security Council. (Causes of bloodshed, avoiding recurring of incident)???...!!! Herat and west of Afghanistan has totally become Iranian. Mr. Noorzai, former mayor of Herat was sent to prison because he removed the wall of the consulate from the middle of the street. Mr. Noorzai was an educated youth who designed the current plan of the city many years ago, but he was injected drug and now he is mad. As a point of you, it is Afghan government, Iranian government or Taliban government? Who govern here? Sometimes we even have to doubt on the ruling of God.

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I liked the terms (Iran's beast regime), (Khamenie's beast regime), and (Iran's satanic regime) used for the Iranian regime. It is wrong to name such wild animals with the holy name of Islam. Iran, Pakistan, ISIS, Taliban, terrorists, devil… all are terms that can be used instead.

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Now Afghans have become clever. If Iran thinks that this country kills the poor people of Afghanistan every day and Afghans do not raise their voices, it is making mistake. You saw that over the past one week, people around the world have been protesting against Iran. In the United States, London, Canada, Germany, and other countries, people took to the streets against the dictatorial regime of Iran, and chanted slogans against this country and burned the flag and pictures of Iranian leaders. This action of the Afghan people and civil society is really commendable, and may God bless them all.

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Iran is a very dictatorial and arrogant country. It does not even allow protests in Afghanistan. They say that whatever atrocity we inflict on Afghans in Iran, Afghans should not raise their voices against us. Death to the bloodthirsty government of Iran.

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