Taliban Complain About Mistreatment of Afghan Refugees in Iran
The Taliban, which rule Afghanistan, have complained to Iran over the mistreatment and difficulties faced by Afghan refugees in Iran, the Saudi-based Arab News first reported, which is ironic since many of those refugees were actually fleeing the Taliban regime. There are some 780,000 registered Afghan refugees in Iran and an estimated 2.1 million undocumented Afghan refugees, according to 2022 data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Iran and Afghanistan share a common border, and thousands to tens of thousands of Afghans have escaped over the border since the Taliban took over in August 2021. Millions of Afghans have crossed into Iran in recent decades due to violent conflicts in Afghanistan. Abdul Mutalib Haqqani, the Taliban spokesperson for the ministry of refugees and repatriation, told Arab News that Taliban officials “have talked to Iranian officials … and shared such concerns and problems of Afghans with them.” In recent years, many Afghan refugees have been forcibly expelled and deported from Iran. Thousands of others have fled Iran for Europe. Human rights groups have made public videos of Afghan men being chained and beaten, and Amnesty International reported that Iranian security forces last year “unlawfully killed” at least 11 Afghans. The refugees also face abuse by criminal gangs and human traffickers. The Taliban and the Islamic Republic have improved relations since the Taliban takeover. A Taliban delegation visited Tehran last year.