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Iran daily deports dozens of Afghan children into Herat

Iran daily deports dozens of Afghan children into Herat

Dec 21, 2017 - 17:57

HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): Iran has been deporting up to 50 Afghan refugee children into western Herat province on a daily basis, local officials said on Thursday.

The provincial Refugees and Repatriation Department head, Javed Naadim, told Pajhwok Afghan News currently about 1,500 individuals including children entered Herat via Islam Qala border crossing from Iran on a daily basis.

He said most of the deportees were forcibly sent and a small number of them voluntarily returned to their country. He said the deported people included children, unaccompanied women, drug addicts and elderly individuals.

According to him, the Islam Qala crossing point remained closed for nine months but was opened for returnees three months back. “Everyday nearly 1,500 people are deported through the border into Herat.”

He expressed concern over the expulsion of children, saying these children aged between seven to 17 years old.

Meanwhile, Toryalai Tahiri, a provincial council member, criticized the forced eviction of Afghan refugee children by Iran, asking the government to resolve the problem via diplomatic channels.

“Although we have received no complaint from the refugees department so far regarding the deported children; but the act is against bilateral promises between the two countries.”

However, Jilani Farhad, the Herat governor’s spokesman, said the local administration had many times shared the issue of forced expulsion of children with Iranian authorities, but to no avail.

“The matter has been put forward to committees and through diplomatic channels, and we hope the Iranian side will prevent and cease deporting women and children.”

Pajhwok tried to seek comment from the Iranian Consulate in Herat; but the officials there refused to talk.