Iran return around 140 bodies of refugees to Afghanistan every month

Taliban officials in the Islam-Qala Commissariat of western Herat province say that on average between 120-140 bodies of Afghan refugees enter Afghanistan from Iran through the Islam-Qala border-crossing every month.

Hazrat Agha, the Taliban commissioner at the border, explained that the bodies are of Afghan citizens who have died for various reasons in Iran.

The identities and genders of the bodies are not specified, but the causes of death listed in their files include diseases, traffic accidents, falls from buildings, and deaths while being smuggled.

Following the Taliban’s return to power, many people from Afghanistan have migrated to Iran, legally and illegally, due to unemployment, fleeing Taliban rule, or being smuggled to European countries. They usually face harsh treatment by Iranian police and border guards which sometimes lead to their deaths.

Late in February, the Taliban’s head of information and culture department in southwestern Nimruz province said that the group received 55 dead bodies of Afghan refugees between 21 January and 19 February.

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