Refugees from Afghanistan Face Tough Troubles in Iran

Refugees from Afghanistan run into problems with getting residential visas and permits in the host country and fear of being deported to Afghanistan.

People who have been compelled to seek refuge in Iran in recent months represent their situation as a “purgatory of uncertainty.” Most of them run into problems with getting residential visas and permits in the host country and fear of being deported to Afghanistan.

In addition, the economic obstacles have led some of them, despite years of experience in military-intelligence activities, to work hard to support their families.

The exact number of people who sought refuge in Iran after the fall of the previous government is unknown. The stories of people who came to Iran through smuggling routes are painful and depressing.

Some refugees reached Iran through smuggling routes from Pakistan. Others, with a little luck, have arrived in Iran through the land border of Islam-Qala with the help of Afghan jihadi leaders and with the permission of Iranian security officials.

The major problem encountered by many new refugees in Iran is the impossibility of obtaining residence permits and the expiration of their staying visas. On this account, the danger of arrest and deportation warns this group of people at any moment and so far, the Iranian government has not thought of a solution to this problem.

According to some popular sources living in Iran, some people have extended their tourist visas in Iran through the lobbying of jihadi commanders, and a small number have received short-term (one-year) residence permits with the coordination of security and political officials.

Some former government soldiers settling in Iran have fear of getting arrested by the Iranian government and deporting them back to Afghanistan. They live in Iran in tough conditions, waiting for senior government officials to find a solution to the problem of their residency permits.

Among them, there are people who are waiting for their turn to get visas from European countries, and some of them are getting forced to return to Afghanistan after the expiration of the legal period for Iranian visas. But many of them who freshly arrived in Iran do not have the conditions to return to Afghanistan and returning to their country may cost them their lives.

Senior military-intelligence officers, army and police special forces, former government employees, cultural activists, university professors, lawyers and judicial staff, political activists, journalists, civil and human rights activists are currently living in Iran.

According to information, some former jihadi commanders and their affiliates had transferred to Mashhad and other cities in the first days of the fall of the previous government with the coordination of senior Afghan Mujahidin leaders and with the permission of Iranian security and political officials. Former jihadi leaders are in contact with Iranian politicians.

In addition, another group of refugees in Iran is waiting to be carried to European countries and they are in consultation with European officials to get a visa and travel. But their major problem is the expiration of their visa period and the invalidation of their passports.

The intense economic burdens of the crippling US sanctions, which senior Iranian government officials admit, have disrupted the country’s economy, making life difficult for Afghan refugees and Iranians, who are looking for a way out.

A large group of refugees living in Iran are waiting for the weather to get warmer to accept the risk of death, to reach Turkey by smuggling routes. Meanwhile, the Turkish government has recently announced that it is going to start deporting illegal Afghan citizens.

Some people who have traveled to Iran on visas and are not eligible to return to Afghanistan have been forced to revoke their passports by the Iranian General Office for Foreigners and Immigrants, rejecting their visa extension requests, and leaving them helpless.

The General Directorate of Foreign Citizens and Immigrants, which is a subsidiary of the Iranian Ministry of Interior, has not yet set a specific procedure for dealing with the situation of newly arrived refugees. Iranian Foreign Ministry officials have also advised Afghan citizens to be patient.

Recently, a Facebook post by Najib Barwar, a contemporary Afghan poet who complained about the expiration of his staying visa in Iran and the non-renewal of his visa, provoked widespread reactions, with senior Interior Ministry officials ordering that his problem be addressed. .

Like him, thousands of other Afghan citizens will end their legal stay in Iran and fear getting deported into Afghanistan. However, no special order has been issued to address the refugees’ problems, and they neither can live in Iran nor leave for Afghanistan.

News Source – Hasht-e Subh Daily

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