HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): Iranian authorities forcibly expelled more than 22,000 Afghan refugees through Islam Qala port during the past four months.
“Iran is sending more than 500 Afghan refugees to western Herat province on a daily basis via Islam Qala land border,” said provincial Refugee and Repatriation director Javed Naadim.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News the deportees included children, homeless women, elderly people and drug addicts. “These people were expelled and returned forcibly,” he said.
Iran started forcibly deporting Afghan refugees into Herat province after the coronavirus outbreak in the neighboring country, local officials had claimed, demanding solution to the issue.
Ghulam Habib, 57, told Pajhwok Afghan News he was deported forcibly by Iranian security forces after working there for seven months.
The elderly man criticized Iranian officials for their bad behavior with them and said: “I went to Iran due to poverty, I had anything. I worked for six months Iranians but they did not pay my wages.”
Javid Hamid, a civil society activist in Herat City, the provincial capital, told Pajhwok said the Iranian government used Afghan refugees as a political tool to put pressure on the Afghan government.
Meanwhile, the Iranian Consulate in Herat said every Afghan citizen who enters Iran without a passport will be deported.