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Turkey pushing back Afghans at Iran’s border, says HRW


Kabul: Human Rights Watch said in a report that Turkey is routinely pushing back tens of thousands of Afghans at its land border with Iran or deporting them directly to Afghanistan with little or no examination of their claims for international protection.

“Human Rights Watch also found that Afghans inside Turkey are being blocked from registering for international protection and that Afghans facing imminent deportation are often given no opportunity to make refugee claims,” HRW’s report reads.

According to the report, Turkey deported 44,768 Afghans by air to Kabul in the first eight months of 2022, a 150 percent increase over the first eight months of 2021.

The 73-page report, “‘No One Asked Me Why I Left Afghanistan,’” said that Turkey has stepped up pushbacks and deportations to Afghanistan since Taliban took control in Afghanistan in August 2021.

Meanwhile, some Afghans who have recently been deported from Turkey speaking of the Turkish police misbehavior during their detention and return to the country.

“They treated us really badly, they beat us, they beat us in a way that we have never faced in our life,” said Ehsanullah, a deported Afghan from Turkey, Tolo news reported.

“We said that we had come to work and because of the troubles we had, we came to Turkey for employment. We didn’t want to be deported, we didn’t accept deportation,” said another deported Afghan from Turkey.

According to some experts in international relations, the deportation of Afghan refugees from other nations including Turkey, Pakistan, and Iran constitutes a violation of the conventions and laws governing refugee affairs.

“Forcible deportation of Afghan immigrants from Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan is a clear violation of international laws and agreements in the affairs of refugees and might significantly endanger these Afghans’ lives and dignity,” said Nasir Ahmad Tareki, an expert in international relations.

Earlier, the Ministry of Refugee and Repatriations said that Turkey has promised not to deport Afghan refugees, and, for this purpose a joint commission between Kabul and Ankara has been established to solve the problem of refugees.

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