Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, November 02, 2007

Iranian official pressed by Afghanistan on death penalty, refugees

Afghanistan said it called Iran’s representative to Kabul on Thursday to discuss refugee repatriation and reports of Afghan minors being sentenced to death for drug smuggling, Agence France-Presse reported today.

In border provinces, it is not unusual for there to be executions of drug smugglers of Afghan origin. An unconfirmed report included a case of a 17-year-old hanged for smuggling 1.5 kilograms, or 3 pounds, of heroin.

“These children are being misused by drug smugglers and their conviction is contrary to human rights, international standards and the very good relations between two countries,” said Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed Kabir Farahi.

Farahi also brought up the issue of forced repatriation of Afghan refugees in border areas, especially regarding those with legal documents.

“At this time Afghanistan does not have the ability to absorb refugee groups. We want the Iranian authorities to revise their decision on this issue,” he said.

About 160,000 unregistered refugees and 6,500 registered refugees have been returned by Iran this year.

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