Despite cold weather, Iranian regime ramps up deportations of Afghan refugees

By Omar

While Afghans are suffering from unprecedented cold, poverty and unemployment this winter, the Iranian regime has expedited the deportation of Afghan refugees from the country. [Omar/Salaam Times]

HERAT -- As Afghans suffer from unprecedented cold, poverty and unemployment this winter, the Iranian regime has continued to increase the deportation of Afghan refugees from the country.

More than 235,000 Afghan refugees deported by the Iranian regime have entered Afghanistan via the Islam Qala border crossing during this solar year, according to the Herat Department of Refugees and Repatriations.

Despite the cold weather, between 1,500 and 2,000 Afghan deportees enter Herat province daily from Iran via the crossing -- a 20% increase compared to last winter.

Starvation and torture

Jalil Ahmad Sarwari, 29, a resident of Kabul, entered Herat province along with his wife and two children, ages two and four, via Islam Qala on February 12.

Afghans who were forcibly deported from Iran to Afghanistan are pictured at Islam Qala border crossing on February 12. [Omar/Salaam Times]

Afghans who were forcibly deported from Iran to Afghanistan are pictured at Islam Qala border crossing on February 12. [Omar/Salaam Times]

Detained by the Iranian police in Zahedan city, the family was held in custody for nine days and nights before being deported.

Sarwari was forced by poverty and unemployment to migrate to Iran three months ago. He worked in a garbage collection and processing plant.

Because of cold weather en route to Afghanistan, his children fell ill and need medical attention, he said.

"The weather was very cold on the road, and there was nothing to keep us warm or proper food. We suffered horribly," Sarwari said. "Police took the little money I had, leaving me with no cash to buy food for my children."

"They would give us wheat boiled in water," he added. "The boiled wheat was not edible ... We had to endure hunger."

Iranian police torture Afghan refugees by beating them, subjecting them to psychological pressure, keeping them hungry and thirsty, and taking their money, he said.

Mir Alam, 16, a resident of Takhar province, was also deported by Iranian police via Islam Qala on February 12.

Alam had gone to Iran five months ago to work before he was detained by the police in Isfahan city.

"Police then transferred me to a detention centre, where they kicked and punched me often," he said. "The police took 500,000 tomans ($118) from me by force. The weather was very cold, and I had a very rough two days and nights."

"After the detention centre in Isfahan, they transferred us to the Safid Sang prison. We spent three days and nights there on empty stomachs in cold weather," Mir Alam added. "There was nothing to keep us warm. We were shivering day and night."

Like Sarwari, he received only boiled wheat to eat.

About 5,000 Afghan refugees were held in the Safid Sang prison, which had only two toilets, causing many problems, the teenager said.

Violation of international law

Afghan officials have confirmed the difficulties Afghans face in encounters with Iranian police.

Every day, 10 to 15 injured Afghan refugees who were beaten up by the Iranian police cross into Afghanistan at Islam Qala, said Abdullah Qayoumi, director of the Islam Qala Office of Refugees and Repatriations.

"In violation of international laws and against the spirit of good neighbours, Iranian security forces mistreat Afghan refugees and torture and beat them," he said. "Most refugees complain to us about being tortured and humiliated by the Iranian police."

"More than 40 unaccompanied children and women are deported daily by the Iranian government," he added.

"Their family members ... are in Iran while they are left utterly alone in Afghanistan after their deportation, facing a very difficult life."

Fortunately, "some of these unaccompanied refugees receive support from international aid agencies", he said.

After their return from Iran, most Afghan refugees complain about violence from the Iranian police, Qayoumi said.

Extortion and bullying

Extortion by Iranian police is another common complaint from Afghan refugees.

Hamed, 21, a resident of Jawzjan province, said Iranian police took all his money from him by force.

"I wanted to go to work early in the morning, but police detained me," he said. "They kept me in the police station for a night. Every policeman kicked me that night."

The police had extorted 500,000 tomans from him while the municipality staff took another 500,000 tomans, he said.

"They then transferred us to the Safid Sang prison. I was there for two nights when it was very cold. It had snowed in the area ... I got sick from the cold but had no money to buy medicine," Hamed said.

"They had put 2,000 people in one hall and were kicking and punching all of us," he added. "Iranian forces are very cruel and brutal. They have no mercy on anyone, not even children and women."

He also entered Afghanistan via Islam Qala on February 12.

Mohammad Khan, 20, a resident of Ghazni province, had a similar experience.

"I had 1.5 million tomans ($355) in my pocket. The police searched me and took all my money," he said without giving more details. "Although I had no more money, they kept beating me, demanding more money."

"Iranian security forces detained more than 500 Afghan refugees in a hall for four days and nights," he said without identifying the city.

"While it was very cold during that period, they gave us only water and dry bread," he added. "They give us only enough food so we don't starve to death."

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The politics of Iran's evil regime also surprises the people. What do they want from Afghans, and what are they doing? Their words and actions are entirely different from each other. Iran has been supporting the government's opponents in Afghanistan for decades, inciting war. On the other hand, they are not letting the war-torn Afghans in their country find a single meal for themselves. At this time, when a government has just been formed, and another has come to power, the people of Afghanistan are in a severe crisis. On the contrary, instead of playing the role of a trustworthy neighbor, it creates more difficulties. Everyone is just thinking about their benefit. Neighbors have made Afghans into murderers, sometimes they will win Kashmir for Pakistan and sometimes Syria for Iran, but when the Afghans are in trouble, they will force them out of the country in the cold winter. It is a matter of shame for Afghans anymore. They may get united among themselves anymore, gather together and not take responsibility for foreign wars.


No other government in the world will do the atrocities that Iran's Islamic Akhundi government commits against the Afghan immigrants. Afghans who are arrested in Iran are first beaten by the Iranian police, and then their money is taken from them. If they have mobile phones, they will take it, and if they have a watch, they will also take it from them. The police of Iran's Akhundi regime are not there for security, but to pick the pockets of Afghan immigrants in the cities. Afghan immigrants in Iran are always harassed by the Iranian police, but Iran's Akhundi government has not created a plan to stop the Iranian police from harassing Afghan immigrants. So it is known that the Islamic government of Iran is involved with the police and with the orders from the Iranian government, Afghan immigrants are harassed, beaten and robbed.


Leave their Islamic faith at its place, but as a human being and a neighboring country, Iran should have accommodated the Afghan refugees instead of deporting them. Not only did they not accommodate them, but they also expelled them in a difficult situation. Besides the deportation, the brutal Iranian regime has beaten and stabbed many young Afghans who tried to go to European countries to have a better and safer life. Afghanistan is indeed more peaceful now than before, but there is no work, and when there is no work, there is no money. And when a person does not get an education, he will live like a blind person, and a blind person cannot live a life in a good way. It can cause damage to both himself and the society, and this damage is not only limited to the borders of Afghanistan, but the neighboring countries and the world may suffer from it. This is why Afghans need to be helped...


After the Taliban took over power, most Afghans took risks for their safe lives but often could not reach their goals through complicated means. That is, the kind of life that Afghan refugees want is impossible. If they stay in their homeland, they are forced and killed by Taliban soldiers, and if they try to go to other countries for a safe life, they do not leave them alone. I have heard from the mouths of many Afghan refugees/travellers that they accept hardships and leave home for a better life, but before they reach their destination, they are forced and beaten by robbers, police, and smugglers, and they lose their life. If the homeland was prosperous, there was absolute peace, if not good, but suitable jobs existed, and people were busy, why would there be the talk of fleeing the homeland today? May Allah have mercy on Afghans. Amen