Force deportation to Afghanistan and Afghan government’s indifference …

Deportation of 9 Afghan Asylum seekers was circulating on social media and between refugee activist groups for many days. As a result 11 Afghan asylum seekers were deported on 10th September 2013 and arrived at Kabul International airport the next day at 8 AM in the morning of 11th September 2013.

It was maybe the one of its kind deportation due to many reasons.

  • All the people who were facing deportation had a court hearing on 11th September but they will removed on 10th
  • Deportees were badly traumatized, handcuffed, their legs were tied together. And one or two of them was given an injection to stay calm and unconcious till they arrive at Kabul International Airport
  • Maybe only in few cases charter flights have been used. But in this case a private charter flight was used to deport the deportees

Today on 14th September I got a chance to talk to one of deportees Talib Hossein in a small and impure room in one of the local hotels in west of Kabul. When Talib arrived in Kabul he did not know a single thing about Kabul. his family live in Iran and he has never been to Kabul before.

Talib started telling about their story of deportation from Sweden. He said; he and some of the other guys were in detention center for more than 2 months. and suddenly one day they received a message by the immigration police that they will be deported that night at 10 O’clock local time.

The only message that was delivered from in the detentions center was .. by one of the deportees Mohammad Hanif;

“unfair decision after two months being in the prison,eventually the police said we could leave in this date 10 / 9/ 2013,, i could prepare to Die, be cause there is no chance to be alive, life threaten the condition is so bad”

Later that day an Afghan activist Basir seerat went to visit and interview the people who were facing deportation. He published this report about the conditions of the people who were facing deportation.. http://kabulblog.blog.com/2013/09/11/9-afghan-asylum-seekers-deported-from-sweden-will-arrive-at-kabul-international-airport-today/. Meanwhile Swedish activists demonstrated outside the detention center to stop the deportation, but only few hours after the demonstration all the deportees were taken to the airport to get deported

Talib said; we told them we have court tomorrow just let that happen then you can deport us. but instead they said no we can’t wait for anything and were were taken to the Airport without any documentation and identity. He added; when we wanted to protest against our deportation and ask them not send us back to hell. They were putting handcuffs on our hands, tied our legs and were dragging us like animals to the plane.

According to Talib; two of the guys were handcuffed at their back, their legs were tied together and were tied on their sits with the sit belts to stay calm and not move

One of the deportee who was demonstrating against deportation the most; was also handcuffed, legs tied together and injected to stay calm and unconscious not make problems.

Talib added; he was also given a head protector which he hardly could breath in.

He added; we were flown with a charter flight from Sweden  to Afghanistan and reached at Kabul Airport after 10 consecutive hours. During the flight most of the guys were still handcuffed in whole the 10 hours flight and some were let free.

Talib said; when we reached at Kabul airport we were told to get out of the plane and go. None of the Swedish police came out of the plane with us. They took the plane and went back with the same plane.

When we entered the airport there was no one to guide us where to go or what to do. Except the representative of refugee ministry who wrote our names and nothing more.

Talib Hossein told; we asked them where to go if they could help us; in reply they said hundreds of deportees arrive in Kabul every month. We can’t take responsibility for these many people. So we can’t help you. You people have to find your ways and go wherever u want.

But we don’t have any place to stay, or money to use in an expensive city like Kabul‘ Stated Talib. they said we don’t know so do whatever you people want to do. Meanwhile one of the guy who was injected had a bad health condition and was still unconscious, we were really concerned about his health. So we advised one of the deportees to accompany him guy to his home.

IOM also said they have no idea how we had come to Kabul. Because they said we don’t know anything about your deportation. No one has informed us about this deportation, except two people out of 11 who are registered with us. So that is why we can’t help you people in anyway.

Normally those who are deported or sent back by force get financial help Via IOM when they are sent back. They get a small amount of cash at first place and then another amount of money to start any kind of business here in Kabul or in some of the provinces. All deportees also have the right to live in Refugee receiving center in Kabul (Jangalak ) for 14 days. But Talib even did not know about this once I asked him. He said they even did not accept us, so how come they could have taken us to guest house or give the financial help.

After the meeting with Talib I was shocked with such kind of deportation because no one knew about this deportation, and no one is ready to get responsibility for it. 9 people are now living in an ambiguity here in Kabul and don’t know where to go and which door to knock for their rights.

They were not even asked where they came from; do they have any kind of identity or passport or not. Swedish forces brought them at Kabul International airport, opened their handcuffs and told them to get out of the plane and go to hell with what ever they want to do or go.

This deportation clearly indicates the level of corruption and no rule of law in Afghanistan. If that is not the case then how could a big group of people can be deported without knowing post information to the IOM in Afghanistan or concerned authorities?  IOM did not know, Afghan Refugee ministry did not know or did not care. Then how did this happen? Was it a deal between the Swedish Police authority and Afghan airport Police authorities?

Clearly ‘Yes

So if we agree that is the case, then it should be hardly prevented to not put more lives in danger. Stop sending more lives to a war torn country which is deeply sinking in Corruption, and from the high level authorities to Low level clerks are involved in Corruption and taking bribery. Lives of Afghans are getting worse and people are experiencing the worst phase of insecurity even after the arrival of Foreign forces in Afghanistan.

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About Abdul Ghafoor

Abdul Ghafoor is a refugee rights activist and blogger stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan.
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