Protesters: Iran must pay compensation to victims’ families

On June 10, some Herat activists protested in front of the Iranian consulate in Herat, demanding an end to the “crime of Iranian forces” against the Afghan refugees.

The Afghan and Iranian governments should launch a joint investigation on killing of Afghan migrants in Harirud River and in Yazad city of Iran, says Noria Afghan, one of the organizers of the protest.

On May 02, over 50 Afghan migrants, who were smuggled to Iran, were caught by Iran’s border guard, beaten and thrown into a river. The images show a number of corpses who were said to have been drowned by Iranian border guard. 23 of those forced into river lost their lives, according to Afghan media.

The Iranian diplomats in Afghanistan refused to have hands in drowning of Afghan migrants but promised to investigate the case.

On June 06, a video clip posted on social media showed a young Afghan migrant escaping from a burning car. With burn in his body, he says: “Give me some water, I am burning.”

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, three Afghan citizens were killed and many others were injured.

Following the deadly incident, the Iranian authorities acknowledged that a car carrying Afghan migrants illegally was set on fire in Yazd city of Iran. They promised to investigate the case and arrest the culprits.           

“Crimes against Afghan refugees in Iran should end,” she told Kabul Now Ms. Afghan told Kabul Now. She added that they would continue to protest if the government does not launch a probe into these cases.

The protestors urge Iranian government to pay compensation to the victims’ families and bring the perpetrators to justice.  

The Iranian government is given ten days to investigate criminal case of setting Afghan refugees on fire, warns Farid Shabanpor, another protestor. He also called on Afghan government to reduce illegal migration of Afghan refugees by creating more security and job opportunities.

Issuing a statement late Wednesday, June 11, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that a high level delegation was set to visit Iran to discuss the main reasons behind the two incidents in which many Afghan migrant workers were killed and wounded.

The statement also added that the agenda of Iran’s visit would focus on “ensuring security of the joint border and preventing illegal movements.”

Meanwhile, President Ghani asked Mohammad Haneef Atmar, acting minister of Foreign Affairs to probe the case.

According to the reports published on the first weeks of May, 46 Afghan workers, who illegally crossed into Iran, were arrested by the Iranian forces and they were forced into Harirud River after physical punishments.

Following these reports, a fact-finding committee assigned by the Afghan government visited Dahaneh Zulfiqar, where the incident took place. After investigating the case, the team found out that 12 workers were drowned dead and 17 others were missing.

Iranian government rejected the initial findings of the fact-finding committee followed by Iranian diplomatic delegations who arrived in Kabul on May 27.