12 days of hunger strike in Sweden, and deportation to Afghanistan …

I was waiting for him in An Afghan restaurant in the west of Kabul. When he entered the restaurant shivery and taking help from the tables  to reach the table I was sitting.

He is Ibrahim Amiri, one of those ten people who were deported from Sweden on 2nd October 2013. He was feeling weak and constantly shivering his head and putting his hand on his forehead while talking to me. This was probably the result of 12 days hunger strike he had gone through in the Swedish detention center.

Amiri and two other Afghan asylum seekers were on hunger strike in Swedish detention center to protest against their deportation.

Amiri said; they did not eat anything for 12 days and he was almost unconscious. He was only once taken to the doctor. Doctor had advised Amiri to eat or drink something. But for Amiri it was a matter of survival and death as he said; that is why he did not eat anything and continued with hunger strike, and now Amiri says; he is feeling numb in his right and can’t easily feel it.

Amiri added; he many times called some top Afghan politicians and man in power in Afghanistan to help them and do something for them, but they had told him to stay as long as he can because there is no safety in Afghanistan, and there is no way back to Afghanistan.

The politicians Amiri had called were Dr. Ramazan Bashardost’ one of Afghanistan’s top opposition leader in Parliament and Mr. Haji Mohammad mohaqiq leader of an Afghan political Party and Hazaras influential power in Parliament

The only thing common in both the politician’s advice for Amiri was to stay there as long as he can and don’t come back to Afghanistan. They had told him there is no safety in Afghanistan. Mr. Karzai and his team are putting lives of thousands of people like you in danger.

They go on world tours and tell the concerned country we have security now, we have work. But Mohaqiq had said; there is nothing like that in Afghanistan and instead more people are fleeing Afghanistan now.

Amiri said; I told them do something for us please. And they had told they can’t do anything sitting there in Afghanistan but to talk about them in different national and international forums.

Amiri continued: he was hopeless and didn’t want to end up his hunger strike, because in either way he was in danger, if he was sent to Afghanistan also he was in danger, even now he has no place to stay and is living in hiding here in Kabul.

Nothing worked for Amiri’ finally he was taken from detention center to the airport to get deported to Afghanistan. He said; the doctors came to him and told him he is being taken to hospital. three men took from his underarm and dragged him to the bus. after that they were transferred to another center for a night to get deported to Afghanistan ..

Amiri said; i was unconscious and could hardly speak and understand what was going on around me due to 12 days of consecutive hunger strike. That night at 4 am they were taken to the plane. a charter plane which was meant to only take these 10 Afghan asylum seekers back to Afghanistan.

Amiri was not still in a very good health condition to tell me everything that had happened while i was interviewing him

Finally on October 2nd Amiri and 9 other Afghan asylum seekers were deported to Afghanistan. At Kabul International Airport they faced the same problem as other deportees are facing these days. no one to assist them or tell them where to go.

According to Amiri; he said i begged to the IOM authorities to give me a place to stay for some nights i have no one and no where to stay, but they had told him. he would be given a chance to stay in Jangalak but he has to pay for his transport to Jangalak and his food while he will be staying there.

Normally each person that get deported to Afghanistan has the right to stay in Jangalak (Afghan refugee receiving center) for 14 days. they are provided with two times meal and breakfast. and even the expanses of transferring deportees to Jangalak is also responsibility of IOM.

But unfortunately in last few weeks i have learnt that alot of people aren’t given this offer, and they don’t even know about it when they come to me or contact me. they are being put in an ambiguity about their rights by IOM and the ministry representative who receive deportees at the Airport


About Abdul Ghafoor

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