Justice for Iran has sent a comprehensive report on the violation of the rights of Afghans residing in Iran to Ahmad Shaheed, the UN rapporteur on human rights in Iran.
In the report entitled “Iran: An Afghan Free Zone”, Shaheed is called upon to force the Islamic Republic government to end its campaign of discrimination against Afghani refugees in Iran.
The report adds that the Iranian government’s campaign against Afghans residing in Iran is being fomented with the cooperation of the United Nations Human Rights Commission for refugee affairs and in many case with the approval or silence of the Afghani government.
While the political and security situation in Afghanistan remains unfavourable, the Iranian government has announced that single Afghani men residing in Tehran, Khorasan Razavi and Esfahan must leave the country by the end of the month, the report writes.
The report also cites the various reports of discrimination against Afghans in Iran that have been circulating in the media in recent months, including the banning of Afghans from entering public parks and from living in most Iranian provinces.
Justice for Iran adds that Afghans residing in Iran are already excluded from many basic rights to health, employment and education and, since 2004, there have been many restrictions on their right to travel within Iran. Currently, 16 Iranian provinces are completely off limits to Afghans, according to a recent directive by the government.
The rights groups goes on to add that more than 5,000 Afghani residents of Khuzestan Province have been moved from their place of residence to a camp, which was used as a POW camp for 1,500 prisoners during the Iran-Iraq War.
The report adds that mixed marriages between Iranian women and Afghani men have not been exempted from these measures. The Iranian government does not recognize marriages between Iranian women and Afghani men, and their children do not automatically receive Iranian citizenship and citizen rights.
Marriages between Iranian men and foreign nationals are recognized by the Islamic Republic, and their children are automatically regarded as Iranian citizens.
Justice for Iran also points out that the Human Rights Commission is failing in its mission in Iran because, while it does not recognize Afghans who seek asylum in Iran for economic reasons and refuses to lend them any support, the commission actually assists the Islamic Republic government by handing refugees over to the Iranian government, even as it receives funds for a million registered Afghani nationals living in Iran.
Justice for Iran asks Ahmad Shaheed to “urge both the Iranian government and the UNHCR to make their entire plans clear and abandon their inhumane policy towards Afghans.”