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PAN, January 3, 2011

Relatives of Afghans killed in Iran ask govt to react

The Iranian Embassy has denied that Iranian border forces had mistreated Afghan refugees

By Zarghona Salehi

Though the Iranian embassy in Kabul has called a video clip showing some dead and wounded Afghan refugees lying on the ground as fake, relatives of the victims have asked the Afghan government to react seriously to the brutal action by Iranian border police.

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It is not clear when the footage, obtained by a private TV channel Tolo, has been recorded. The Iranian Embassy has denied that Iranian border forces had mistreated Afghan refugees.

The video broadcast on December 31st shows the dead and wounded Afghans, with Iranian border forces standing neglectfully by their side.

When Pajhwok Afghan News approached officials at the Iranian embassy in Kabul, they refused to comment on the incident.

However, the embassy has told other media outlets that the video was fake.

But Dil Aqa Wahdat, a resident of the Alasai district in northern Kapisa province, told Pajhwok Afghan News the video was not a fake one.

Wahdat, who is also an employee at the Rural Rehabilitation and Development Department, added the incident was happened one and a half month ago in Iran near the border with southwestern Nimroz province, when Iranian forces opened fire on a vehicle carrying Afghans to Iran for work.

Six of the killed and injured were from Alasai district and six others from different districts of Kapisa province, he said.

Wahdat said his cousin, Mubarak Shah, was among the dead. Mubarak Shah had a visa, he said, adding he brought Shah's body home and buried him in his ancestral graveyard. "Shah had received bullets in the chest," Wahdat said.

He asked the Iranian government to be friendly with Afghans who had migrated to that country for work due to poverty and joblessness at home country.

The killing of Afghans by Iranian forces spread anger among Afghans. Ahmad Khalid, resident of Chak district of central Logar province, said Iranians' inhuman act towards Afghans was seen by the whole world. “All Afghans are angry with the action,” he said. "The Iranian authorities call themselves very honest Muslims and friends of Afghans, but behind the scene they commit such brutal and shameful crimes.”

Khalid urged the Afghan government and the human rights bodies to take serious action against the killing of Afghans.

Aimal Yosufzai, a resident of Jalalabad city, said Iran was cruel towards Afghans and that the country was against the development of Afghanistan.

“A Muslim cannot oppress a human as the Iranians did,” he added. He requested the Afghan government to investigate into the murders of Afghan refugees by Iranians.

Ahmad Shah, a resident of Qalai Zaman Khan area of Kabul city, said it was not for the first time that such incidents had happened with Afghan nationals. Afghan refugees had been killed and imprisoned several times in the past by the Iranian government.

Of some 5,000 Afghans imprisoned in Iranian jails about 3,000 are reported to be on death row.

“If we had a powerful president, the Afghans would not have been faced with such fate,” Shah said.

Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) has called for serious investigation into the matter.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriates, Noor Muhammad Seddiqui, said they would investigate the video and would take action after that.

Currently there are about two million Afghan refugees living in Iran, according to the refugee ministry.

Published on Jan. 2, 2010

Category: HR Violations, Refugees/IDPs - Views: 6146