Afghan Citizens Burnt to Death; Abuse and Drowning in Iran

Afghan citizens burned to death, abuse and drowning in Iran. Recent incident of Iranian police shooting at refugees’ vehicle and causing it to catch fire was followed by beating, torturing and drowning of several other Afghan refugees.

This comes only weeks after multiple Afghan migrants drowned in Iran, as border police forced them to cross the river at gunpoint. Afghan Government, In a statement, the Afghan Foreign Ministry said it is closely monitoring, investigating, and evaluating the burning of a car carrying Afghan citizens in Yazd, which resulted in three deaths and several injuries.

Afghans have taken to social media to denounce Iranian police after a video of a car carrying with Afghan refugees set ablaze in Iran went viral, arousing new anger weeks after Afghan officials accused Iranian border guards of drowning migrants.

Video footage posted on social media showed a boy escaping from the blazing car with burns on parts of his body and begging for water. The ministry said the video was genuine and Afghans in Iran were trying to identify the victims.

The boy’s plea of “give me some water, I am burning” was widely circulated on social media and taken up by rights group demanding justice.

“Iran has no right to kill Afghan refugees, they can seal their borders, expel all Afghans but not kill them,” said Ali Noori, a lawyer and rights activist said on Facebook.

An online petition, aimed at the UN and the Afghan and Iranian governments, has gathered more than 40,000 signatures over the past three days.

The mistreatment of Afghan nationals in Iran has long been documented by human rights groups. “The horrific and repeated attacks on Afghan migrants in Iran cannot go ignored,” Omar Waraich, Amnesty International’s head of South Asia, told the Guardian.

According the Guardian almost 3 million Afghans live in Iran, many of them escaping war or economic hardship. Tens of thousands have returned home in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic that has hit Iran hard.

As protests gain momentum in Afghanistan – inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and the global outcry over the killing of George Floyd and other black US citizens – prominent Afghans have spoken out. 

“What happened to your culture, neighbour? We burned in the fire of your deceit,” Afghan singer Ghezaal Enayat wrote in a new song. 

Case two:

Reported Abuse and Drowning of Afghan Refugees Aiming to Cross the Border to Iran. AIHRC talked to the survivors of this incident and local officials in Herat, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) now confirms the beating, torturing and drowning of several Afghan refugees by Iranian security forces. This incident occurred on May 01, 2020 in Karez-e-Elyas village of Gulran District in Herat which shares border with Iran.  Report has it that some refugees have drowned and some have escaped. The Commission is still working on the case for more exact statistics.

AIHRC is expressing sympathy and condolences to the survivors of this incident and regards such brutal behavior by Iranian security forces as a serious violation of human rights principles and values. In addition, the rights of refugees and immigrants, and the commitment of states to international conventions have been violated.

AIHRC In their Press Release urges on the government of Afghanistan, specifically Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to form a committee including officials from both countries, Iran and Afghanistan, in cooperation with the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, and UNHCR to thoroughly investigate the case. It is expected that the perpetrators would be identified and brought to justice to prevent such incidents from happening again. In addition, the victims shall be compensated.

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