Taliban receives 101 dead bodies of Afghan refugees from Iran in two months

Local Taliban authorities in the south-western Nimruz province confirmed that they have received a total of 101 dead bodies of Afghan refugees from Iran over the past two months. They also confirmed that a total of 67,126 Afghan refugees returned home from Iran during the same period.

A sum of 37,193 Afghan refugees, including 570 families, have returned home from Iran between 21 January and 19 February, said Habibullah Elham, Taliban’s head of information and culture department in Nimruz. The group received 55 dead bodies in the same period, he added.

The department’s records further suggest that 29,933 Afghan refugees returned from Iran over the previous solar calendar month (from 22 December 2022 through 20 January 2023) and 46 dead bodies have been transferred to Afghanistan.

Iran is the primary destination for thousands of Afghans who flee Afghanistan due to poverty, lack of employment opportunities, and the Taliban’s repressive rule. They usually face harsh treatment by Iranian police and border guards which sometimes lead to their deaths.

The Amnesty International reported in August 2022 that Iranian security forces killed 11 Afghan migrants, including 16-year-old boy, while adding that the death toll could be “significantly” higher.

The UNHCR, UN refugee agency, estimates that 500,000 -1,000,000 Afghans have newly fled to Iran since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021. According to the UN agency, Iran hosts more than 3 million documented and undocumented Afghan refugees.