Iran bans Afghanistan refugees to live and work in Kermanshah province

Iran’s Ministry of Interior has announced a ban on refugees from Afghanistan in the western Kermanshah province, saying they will be detained and deported to their country.

According to this ban, refugees from Afghanistan will be barred from residency cards and work permits.

Hamza Soleimani, Head of Kermanshah’s Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants’ Affairs, has said that all refugees from Afghanistan will be identified and arrested within 13 days.

This process has been initiated since July 19 and any Iranian who offers employment to these refugees will face legal consequences, he added.

This is the latest restriction by the Iranian government which has raised fears among refugees who fear deportation back to Afghanistan amid a worsening humanitarian crisis, acute food insecurity, and high unemployment rate.

Since March, Iran has deported 90,000 Afghanistan refugees from across the country and the number is on the rise.

UN Human Rights Commission (UNHCR) estimates that since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, a total of 1,000,000 people have fled to Iran, resulting in an upsurge in international protection needs.

According to ACAPS data, there are now 780,000 documented Afghanistan refugees in Iran – 586,000 are passport holders – and 2.6 million remain undocumented.