Stop repatriating Afghan refugees: Amnesty urges Europe

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Kabul, Oct 5 (IANS) Amnesty International on Thursday urged European nations to end their policy of repatriating Afghan refugees, which goes against international law.

“Wilfully blind to the evidence that violence is at a record high and no part of Afghanistan is safe, they are putting people at risk of torture, kidnapping, death and other horrors,” Anna Shea, Amnesty International’s Researcher on Refugee and Migrant Rights, said in the report.

Horia Mosadiq, the NGO’s Afghanistan Researcher, said in a press conference in Kabul that there was a “politicisation of the deportation process of Afghans from Europe”, reports Efe news.

“The Afghan government and the international community should immediately suspend the return of Afghans from Europe to Afghanistan,” he said.

The report mentions cases of Afghans, including unaccompanied minors, who have been sent back from Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany “only to be killed, injured in bomb attacks, or left to live in constant fear of being persecuted for their sexual orientation or conversion to Christianity.

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“The same European countries that once pledged support for a better future for Afghans are now crushing their hopes and abandoning them to a country that has become even more dangerous since they fled.”

According to Amnesty International, the official European Union figures revealed that between 2015 and 2016, there was a 300 per cent increase in the repatriation of Afghans, jumping from 3,290 to 9,460.

Moreover, grants of asylum have fallen from 68 per cent of the asylum applicants in 2015 to 33 per cent in 2016.

The year 2016 was the bloodiest one for the civilian population in Afghanistan, with 3,498 killed and 7,920 injured, a 3 per cent increase in a year and 24 per cent increase in the number of children affected, according to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

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