AT Kabul: Local officials in Herat have raised alarm as reports indicate that the Iranian government has initiated the deportation process for Afghan immigrants possessing valid passports and visas. According to officials, Iranian police have been tearing passports and visas, forcibly expelling Afghan immigrants from the country.
Abdullah Qayoumi, the head of immigration affairs at Islam Qala port in Herat, disclosed that a significant number of legally documented immigrants are being deported from Iran through this port on a daily basis. Contrary to public statements, Qayoumi asserted, “They deport our immigrants who have legal documents and go there to find employment. Passports are not valid for them.”
Afghan immigrants deported from Iran recounted distressing experiences, with some holding valid Iranian visas. Khairullah, one such immigrant, shared, “When we told them that we have valid documents, the soldiers told us to shut your mouth.”
Human rights advocates are expressing concern over potential violations of international rules and norms, emphasizing that Iran’s actions disregard the distinction between legal and illegal immigrants. “Afghan immigrants have always been treated politically, and Iran does not care who is legal and who is not. Iran has always pursued its own political priorities,” stated Sayed Ashraf, a human rights activist.
Local officials in Herat reported a significant increase in the expulsion of Afghan immigrants from Iran over the past month. According to the Herat refugee department, approximately 4,000 Afghans deported from Iran have entered the country through the Islam Qala port. The situation raises questions about the adherence to international standards in handling immigrants and the impact on the affected individuals, many of whom had valid documentation.