Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mass deportation of Afghan refugees from Iran may cause humanitarian crisis

To avoid what could be a massive humanitarian crisis, officials from the Afghan government have called upon the Iranian government to hold off its planed deportation of thousands of Afghans living illegally in Iran until after the winter, IRIN reported Sunday.

“We do not have the capacity to receive a large number of deportees from Iran,” said Shir Mohammad Etibari, minister of refugees and returnees. “We will face a humanitarian crisis if Iran resumes a mass deportation of Afghans.”

377,000 Afghans have already been sent back to their home country since the beginning of 2007. The cold winter months, already responsible for killing hundreds in Afghanistan, will severely limit the country’s capacity to absorb anymore returnees.

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