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Editorial: At a loss for words

The fact of seeking refuge in our evil neighboring countries from war and poverty over the past few decades has turned the lives of Afghans worthless for them. Sadly, it’s become a trend now for these countries to get away with any kind of atrocities they commit towards Afghans. In a recent inhumane act, three Afghan nationals died and another eight wounded after their vehicle was shot at by Iranian police, triggering a fire. Graphic and horrific footage showed a boy with burns on parts of his body begging for water, something that aroused new anger weeks after Iranian border guards killed over 20 Afghan migrant workers by forcing them at gunpoint into a mountain torrent on the border. Although a symbolic joint investigation was launched into the incident, it has reportedly ended without any result. Similarly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has once again vowed a thorough probe into the deliberate blazing case; however, if past experiences are anything to go by, this investigation would also be futile and Afghans will continue to suffer at the hands of such malicious neighbors. Seeing that the Afghan government is impotent, Afghans themselves have taken to social media to denounce Iranian police. A boy with burns pleading “give me some water, I am burning” was widely circulated on social media and taken up by rights group demanding justice. This is not the first time such savagery is committed against Afghans. There are at least about 2.5 million Afghan migrants, both legal and undocumented, living in Iran at the mercy of such senseless government and police. The car blazing incident has served as a wake-up call for Afghans and should also be so for the rest of the world. This crime against humanity and a horrific act that goes against all international laws should reveal the evil face of Iran’s treatment of Afghans to the globe. Unfortunately, recently this neighboring country has taken its long-standing maltreatment and brutalization of Afghans to a whole another level – as cruelty is at its peak and people are at a loss for words regarding harrowing acts of Iranian brutality. If the country wants no more of Afghan migrants, it can seal its borders or repatriate Afghan migrants and refugees by asking the Afghan government to facilitate such a process, but it has no right to kill Afghans in such a barbaric manner. Therefore, our government should give a tit-for-tat response and deal a huge blow to the country by defending the rights of Afghans and showing to the Iranian government that there exists someone who can protect and inquire after the well-being of Afghans. Meanwhile, Afghan civil society activists and rights defenders, as well as media, should remain consistent in escalating the issue and raising the voice of unheard Afghans. Only then would the Iranian government be compelled to stop turning a blind eye and apologize to the Afghan nation for carrying out such atrocities which cannot be justified.

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