Deportation announcement sparks surge in violence against Afghan refugees in Iran

By Muhammad Qasem

Afghan protesters stone the Iranian consulate in Herat April 11, 2022, to protest published reports alleging harassment of Afghan refugees in Iran. A video surfaced this month on social networks, showing still more harassment of Afghans, this time by residents of Qazvin province, Iran. [Mohsen Karimi/AFP]

Afghan protesters stone the Iranian consulate in Herat April 11, 2022, to protest published reports alleging harassment of Afghan refugees in Iran. A video surfaced this month on social networks, showing still more harassment of Afghans, this time by residents of Qazvin province, Iran. [Mohsen Karimi/AFP]

MAZAR-E-SHARIF -- Violence against Afghan refugees in Iran has increased after an Iranian minister announced plans to deport Afghans illegally living in Iran.

Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi told journalists September 27 that Iran will deport all Afghan refugees who have no residence documents.

Wahidi said that five million Afghan refugees live illegally in Iran.

Following the announcement, a video has been circulating on social media showing locals in Qazvin province, Iran, attacking and harassing Afghans at their homes.

"Hundreds of Iranians attacked with stones and sticks the houses of Afghans on October 5, humiliating and insulting them," said Abdul Hakim Nabizada, 38, a resident of Mazar-e-Sharif, referring to the video.

"They broke the windows of the houses Afghans were living in, shouting that Afghans should return to their homeland or be expelled," he said. "Relevant organizations must investigate the cases of mistreatment and harassment of Afghan refugees."

Iran has been allowing every kind of mistreatment of the Afghan refugees for years, Nabizada said.

Afghans who have gone to Iran work day and night for Iranians. They should not be insulted in return for their service, said Samim Majidi, 43, another resident of Mazar-e-Sharif.

"We Afghans have always been hospitable. We have always welcomed foreigners visiting our country, but Iran and its people are so pitiless that they do not even have regard for our children and elderly," he said.

The horrible situation of refugees

Many Afghans in Iran live in fear of the authorities.

"I go to work discreetly in the morning and return to my room late in the evening after dark," said Mohammad Asghar Farhangdost, 33, an Afghan living in Qazvin province, Iran.

"Right now, Afghans who even have valid documents are not being issued bus and train tickets to travel from one city to another," said Farhangdost, who currently works at a plastic factory.

"This leaves refugees with no choice but to travel via minibuses, which charge double fares," he said.

"Iranian police unfortunately mistreat Afghan refugees," said Daryoush Nasimi, 36, who migrated to Iran about two years ago.

"They have even detained some of my friends who have residency permits. They sent them to camps and released them only after humiliating, insulting and beating them," said Nasimi, who works as a server at a restaurant in Qazvin province.

"I am afraid of going out of my house because many of our compatriots, in front of me in bazaars, have been subjected to violence, beatings and harassment by Iranians," he said.

Nasrullah Baryalai, 41, an Afghan refugee in Esfahan, Iran, who works at a tailoring shop told Salaam Times that he has not left his workshop for almost two weeks for fear of the police and of possible deportation.

"Police picked up a number of my friends from their homes at night and deported them," he said on Tuesday (October 10). "We do not feel safe at home or at the workplace ... fearing that police can come any moment to detain and torture us."

"Most Afghans in Iran face constraints, such as not having bank accounts [and] not being able to extend their visas," Baryalai said, adding that Iran's economic problems are also impacting Afghans.

A bad neighbor

Iranian authorities long have been accused of mistreating Afghan refugees.

For example, reports that Iranian forces tortured dozens of Afghan nationals and forced them into a river, where they drowned, made headlines in May 2020.

The deportation of Afghan refugees from Iran will worsen unemployment and poverty in Afghanistan, say observers.

"Four decades of conflict and instability has forced millions of Afghans to leave their country and take refuge in other countries, including in neighboring countries," Abdul Qader Kamel, a political analyst based in Herat, said earlier this month.

"In the last two years, many Afghans were forced to seek refuge in Iran from unemployment and security threats," he added.

The deportation of Afghans will add to the ranks of the unemployed and impoverished in Afghanistan, exacerbating the economic crisis there, according to Kamel.

A comprehensive economic program is needed to prevent capital flight from Afghanistan and to encourage Afghan investors to invest in their country, according to Mir Haidar Karimi, an economist based in Germany.

"Unfortunately, capital flight from the country has been ongoing for several years," Karimi said. "It is now the responsibility of the current authorities to ensure the security of investors and create an enabling environment for them so that businesses return to their country."

"Afghanistan offers many opportunities. Investing and working inside the country are much better than in the neighboring countries, especially Iran, which subjects Afghans to such horrible mistreatment and torture," he said.

Do you like this article?

9 Comment

Comment Policy * Denotes required field 1500 / 1500

Iran's government is one of the cruelest governments in the world. It is said that there are three countries in the world with oppressive governments; the first of which is Israel, the second is Pakistan, and the third is Iran. Israeli forces killed thousands of innocent Palestinian children. They don't listen to the United Nations [organization], or to the human rights organizations, nor do they hear the child protection organizations like UNICEF and Save the Children. The government and especially the intelligence agency and the army of Pakistan have been fostering terrorism in the region for four and a half decades and even since its installment by Britain. During these hard and cold months, they have forced legal and illegal immigrants leave their country and go to Afghanistan. Pakistani forces rob Afghan migrants of their money and even steal and loot their home furnishings such as carpets and other valuables. The government of Iran and especially the Revolutionary Guards of this country sent Afghan youths, especially Afghan Shiite youths, to the wars in Syria and Iraq, and now the news is that they have sent the same Fatemiyoun Division to the Palestine war, but on the other hand, they force out legal and illegal immigrants from their land. In fact, all three mentioned countries commit crimes that can be called state terrorism. May God take all the three of them to his punishment and wrath so that other people remain safe from their evil.


I agree with your opinion that these three countries in the world are killers of humanity, but sometimes we Muslims are also deceived. Mostly we are deceived by the warring groups of Iran and Pakistan. Everyone should think in their heart that killing a human being for the sake of power, whether it is against Israel, Palestine or Afghanistan, is a pain. A Muslim should never raise his hand against an infidel until he has seen harm from the infidel! For now, we hope that the fighters of both countries will stop killing people!


We will pray for Iran to know about the atrocities of Punjab. Punjab has decided to evacuate Afghan refugees. Every day, Punjabi soldiers raid the homes of Afghans against all accepted principles. They steal from the boxes of women, steal money, humiliate them, and if they find any valuables in their houses, they take them away. And the properties of Afghan refugees are being taken away by the Pakistani government. Their goods are not returned. Their money is frozen in the banks. After all, how long will this inhuman act continue? Why is the world silent? A major humanitarian crisis is looming in Afghanistan. This disaster must be stopped. Afghan families should be sent to Afghanistan with honor according to the specified schedule. We also don't want our countrymen to live in humiliation there, but at least two to three thousand families may be repatriated every day. But now, millions of families are being repatriated every day, and it isn't easy to accommodate them. Neither the Afghan government nor anyone else has access to them. Currently, the people are taking food to the so-called line of Torkham every day, and the government is also cooperating. International organizations should also cooperate and help create work opportunities for the returnees. The international community should not abandon Afghanistan....


According to a report from the Tand news website, Sunnis in Iran's capital, Tehran, are not allowed to pray Friday and congregational prayers and have a separate mosque. In contrast, Armenians have more than 50 churches in this city. Jews have many synagogues. In the history of Iran, there has not been a Sunni governor even once. Even the governors and other officials of the Sunni areas of this country are Shia. Think about it: Iran is the country that always fuels the fire of war between Shia and Sunni in Afghanistan, encourages the Shia, and incites them to stand against the Sunnis.


It is the right of Afghans to be violentو because the current situation in Afghanistan is not suitable. Afghan refugees should not be forced to return. If Iranians are human beings first, and then Muslims, instead of deporting Afghan refugees, for the sake of human sympathy, they should be legalized and provided with work. Maybe these virtues of Iranians will make the ruling government of Afghanistan to be gentle with them in terms of water. Otherwise! Afghans are ahead of everyone in hatred, then a time will come as they will be more cruel and hateful.


Yes. The videos of Afghans being harassed on social media are real. They not only harass the undocumented Afghans who went to Iran to work but also do not leave Afghans with legal documents at rest. A friend told me that his relatives who had been there thirty years ago arrived in Kabul from Iran. He said his relatives were forced to leave while their houses were full of everything, and they spent nights and days in other people's houses in such bad condition that they didn't even have clothes to wear or bed. In addition to the household goods, their money remained in Iranian accounts. Now, one of his sons went through smuggling routes to get the remaining goods and withdraw money from the accounts. On the other hand, those Afghans who want to reach Europe and other countries through the smuggling routes are severely oppressed by the Iranian smugglers. Whereas the same Iranian smugglers brought these Afghans to the land of Iran, they are still being treated with such injustice that the history of humanity is ashamed of. I have also met with young people who did not go to Iran from Afghanistan with the intention of Europe but went to Iran for work. They worked day and night there, but when the payment time came, they were told they would either not pay them or hand them over to the police. The situation is the same in Pakistan. Iran and Pakistan used Afghans like toilet paper. They are no longer useful, and they expel them with disrespect. God bless the Afghan people. They cann


In this bad economic situation, Iran as a neighbor should not send Afghan refugees back from Iran, because there are no jobs in Afghanistan, factories are at a standstill, there is no project for people to work in, so in such a condition, the situation of those Afghans who stay in Iran, they make a living and find bread for their families. And if they are forcibly expelled, what will they do in their homeland! This is a very difficult situation! Iran should pay attention to this issue and not direct its hatred towards the oppressed Afghans.


Unfortunately, we Afghans are not clever people. We destroyed our dear country Afghanistan for the sake of the West and the East, and when I see that we have remained in a state like in a desert, now we should only complain about ourselves, not about others. Our people destroyed our homeland in the 1980s for the interests of Pakistan and America, if not, we could unite with the Soviet Union and develop like the countries of Central Asia and prevent the killing and fighting of our people. Pakistanis used to write in large letters on their walls and in their meetings (Jihad of Afghanistan, Defense of Pakistan). That is, we people were as stupid as we waged Jihad against our own people in our country to defense from Pakistan, especially after the withdrawal of the Soviet Union troops. Later, in 1992, when the communist system in Afghanistan fell, the jihadist organizations established by Pakistan with the help of the West fought among themselves until the city of Kabul, which was once compared to Paris, turned into a ruin and a graveyard, and thousands of innocent people were killed in it. This was the time when historians say that American officials did not even mention the name of Afghanistan in their statements. After 2001, when Afghanistan was blamed for the September 11 attacks, our country turned into a battlefield again. Although Osama, whom the Americans considered to be the cause of the September incident, was found inside the compound of America's ally (Pakistan), but A


Afghans live in Iran with many problems. The government of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan should provide its people with the opportunity to work inside the territory of Afghanistan so that no more Afghans be forced to immigrate to Iran for work. The current government of Afghanistan may first of all allow the construction works so that people can build houses for themselves. By issuing the order of the construction work, 50% to 70% of the people will have a job on the same day, and no more Afghan businessmen will migrate to Iran for doing works. Afghans who do business in Iran should come and invest in their homeland. There are many job opportunities in Afghanistan compared to Iran. After this, Afghans should invest in their country in order to create a working environment for their compatriots inside Afghanistan itself. The current government of Afghanistan has brought a security in Afghanistan as no one can look down on anyone's property. Those who committed robbery and kidnapping were arrested by the government of the emirate and handed over to the law. The solution is that our youth would not steal anymore. Businessmen and the government of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan should find jobs for our youth so that our youth can fulfill their basic needs through doing works, not that our youth are unemployed and have no money in their pockets and need money to meet their needs and they commit stealthy. Afghan businessmen play an important role in the development of the h