Afghans highlight contrast between Iran and other refugee host countries

By Omar

Unlike Iran, most non-Muslim countries gave refuge to vulnerable Afghans who fled the country last year. In recent videos being circulated on social media, Iranian border guards and Iranian mobs are shown beating and torturing Afghan refugees. [Social media/Emran/Salaam Times]

HERAT -- Afghans outraged by the mistreatment of their compatriots in Iran are contrasting its policies with those of other countries that have taken in Afghans.

Afghans last week demonstrated outside Iranian consulates and the Iranian embassy, angered by videos that showed Iranians beating up Afghans.

More than three million Afghans now live in Iran, as the Los Angeles Times reported last December. However, many do not find a friendly home in Iran and are upset by their ongoing mistreatment.

Afghan refugees in Iran live in hiding and fear, said Ghuncha Gul Karimi, a resident of Herat.

A number of Afghans deported from Iran are seen on April 10 at a United Nations (UN) refugee camp in Herat city. [Emran/Salaam Times]

A number of Afghans deported from Iran are seen on April 10 at a United Nations (UN) refugee camp in Herat city. [Emran/Salaam Times]

"While Afghans have been forced to flee their country in the past couple of months, instead of helping and sheltering them, Iran has been torturing and deporting them," he added.

"Afghan refugees are a money-making business for the Iranian government," Karimi complained. "It charges Afghans a lot of money for visas and then daily extorts money from Afghan workers in Iran under different names."

Iran's mistreatment of Afghan refugees while non-Muslim countries help and shelter them brings great shame to that Islamic regime, said Abdul Rahim Sarwari, a resident of Herat city.

"Iranian leaders always claim in the media that they are Afghans' friends and are always there to help them," he added. "But in reality, they do the opposite."

"How long will the Iranian government continue oppressing Afghans? It has taken everything from us for 40 years; enough is enough," he added.

Afghan refugees around the world live in peace -- but not in Iran, Sarwari said.

Open hostility towards Afghans

Two murders in Mashhad, Iran, have unleashed Iranian hostility against Afghan refugees.

After two mullahs were killed there April 5, a public campaign began against Afghan refugees in Iran, even though Iranian authorities arrested a suspect and identified him as of Uzbek descent.

Giving in to anti-Afghan prejudice instead, police and civilians reportedly are hunting for Afghan refugees across the country. Upon finding them, they attack them and deport them to Afghanistan.

Scapegoating and persecution of Afghans in Iran have been widespread since the slayings, some Iran-based Afghans claimed.

The campaign against Afghan refugees by Iran is a crime, said Mobin Ahadi, a resident of Herat city, calling it a planned effort.

"Afghan men and women, old and young, are being attacked and tortured in Iran even though they committed no crime," he added. "This is the peak of hostility and discrimination against Afghans."

It is inhumane to punish thousands of innocent refugees for the slaying of two mullahs by someone else, said Mohammad Rafi Hussaini, a resident of Herat city.

In the United States, an Iranian refugee woman stabbed an American man as her stated revenge for slain Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force (IRGC-QF) commander Qassem Soleimani's death, he said, referring to a non-fatal assault in March. "Did the American people assault and torture all Iranian refugees in the United States [in retaliation]?" he asked.

"The Iranian government has been treating Afghans like a brutal enemy for decades, be it torturing Afghan refugees or interfering in Afghanistan's internal affairs," he added.

"The United Nations and other human rights organisations must pressure Iran to stop the mistreatment of Afghan refugees," Hussaini added.

Undermining rights

After the latest abuses of the Afghan refugees by the Iranian government, a number of Afghans have branded Iran as a bad and brutal neighbour.

Iran has always mistreated Afghans, Sayed Rahim, a resident of Herat who goes by one name said.

"We go to Iran because we have shared language and religion, but instead of giving us refuge, the Iranian government mistreats us," he added.

"Iran's visa fee for Afghans is 15,000 AFN ($171)," he said. "No other neighbouring country charges us that much for a visa."

Afghans are forced to emigrate to Iran because it borders Afghanistan, Sayed Rahim said.

Refugees around the world have specific rights, but Tehran violates Afghan refugees' rights, said Mohammad Nader Muzafari, a resident of Herat city.

"Assuming that it is an Islamic and friendly country, we Afghans go there for work," he added. "But Iran's treatment of us Afghans is neither Islamic nor humane."

"Some photos circulating on social media might show a percentage of Iran's brutality against Afghans," he added. "The world would be shocked if all of Iran's crimes were documented."

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Why are you coming to Iran? Go to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, or China.


Well, do not go to Iran, go to those countries which spread a red carpet for you! And an unanswered question! If the Iranians are treating you so bad, then what do these millions' of Afghan population do in Iran? Please be just a little. If thousands of Iranians want to immigrate to Afghanistan tomorrow, what will do with that? You are a bloody enemy with your compatriots from another nation, and then you are criticizing Iran? Every country has its own borders; you cannot go to another country without any specialization and capital. Stay in your beautiful country, no one has sent you invitation letter.


Indeed, millions of Afghans live in Iran, many of whom are insecure. They are harassed, beaten, and insulted by Iranians. The Iranians have killed so many Afghan refugees that no one has questioned them even more recently. But I wonder about Salaam Times' policy. Whatever Iran does to Afghans, they [the website] cover it; however, if Pakistan destroys the whole of Afghanistan, they will not write even a simple report and deliver it to the people. What kind of policy do you have? Why are you silent on the atrocities of Pakistan against Afghanistan and the Afghans? Why do you not make a report /news about it? I will recall that last Saturday (April 16), Pakistan Army's jets bombed several areas in the Khost and Kunar provinces, causing heavy casualties. The BBC Pashto website quoted the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) as saying in a report that 20 children, including 15 girls and 5 boys, were killed in the airstrikes in Khost and Kunar provinces. The report quoted Mohamed Ayoya, UNICEF's country director for Afghanistan, saying that the children had been killed in their homes while asleep. The Taliban said around 50 civilians had been killed in Pakistani airstrikes in the two provinces. So now I'm wondering why the Salaam Times policy brings news from one corner of Afghanistan but not from the other, which is a great tragedy. So far, I have not seen any news of you written on the Pashtun populated areas, and even if yes, they are only two to three percent, but why? Pleas


On the contrary, it is always, and I mean always, that Afghanistan citizens gang rape girls or massacre entire families while robbing them.

Why are these 5 million, largely Sunni Muslims from Afghanistan, do not leave Iran.

Ask Europe or India or Saudi Arsbia to resettle them.

Of course, I know that behind all of this is the ugliness of religious bigotry against the Shia.

Go live with the Deobandiscand leave our country alone.


Three days ago, Pakistan's apostate army brutally killed dozens of Pashtuns in a brutal bombardment in Afghanistan's Khost and Kunar provinces. Still, the Salaam Times has not written a word about it. If you publish news and reports for Pashtun Afghans, then don't act one-sidedly. Write about all the enemies of Afghanistan and their brutal activities. Iran is indeed the enemy of Afghans and Afghanistan, but it is your absolute ignorance to ignore the actions of Pakistan's apostate army and intelligence in Afghanistan. Our first enemy is Pakistan; our second enemy is Iran, Russia, and China.


Amazing! Iran is the second enemy? The US rulers are the first friend, the British ones are the second and Australia is your dearest friend, who sent their soldiers to kill the Afghans, and kill dozens of innocent people.
May God keep us safe from ignorance and misleading propagation.