Thousands who escaped the Taliban remain stuck in a detention centre in Abu Dhabi

More than 2,000 refugees remain stuck in a compound in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) more than 18 months after they were evacuated from Afghanistan, CNN reports.

The refugees, who are mostly women and children, were evacuated from Afghanistan in the chaotic weeks following the Taliban’s takeover of the country in August 2021. They were initially housed at the Emirates Humanitarian City (EHC) in Abu Dhabi, but they have been unable to leave the compound since then.

The refugees say they are living in cramped and unsanitary conditions, and they are frustrated with the slow pace of their resettlement process. They have also accused the UAE of holding them arbitrarily and of denying them access to basic necessities, such as medical care.

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The UAE government has denied the allegations of abuse, and it says that it is committed to providing the refugees with a safe and dignified environment. However, the refugees say that they are still waiting for the UAE to fulfill its promises.

A UAE government official told CNN that  EHC has “received a comprehensive range of high-quality housing, sanitation, health, clinical, counseling, education, and food services to ensure their welfare.”

A Human Rights Watch report in March said that evacuees were being kept in “prison like” detention since their arrival to the country, without any prospects of leaving or freedom.

The US has pledged to resettle 95,000 Afghan refugees over the next year, but it is facing a number of obstacles, including a shortage of housing and a lack of funding.