Afghans deported from Iran begging for survival
ZARANJ (Pajhwok): Some people in southwestern Nimroz province, who have been deported from neighbouring Iran, have to beg on roads and streets for survival.
Shamsuddin, a resident of Farah province who was expelled by Iranian authorities, said being penniless had to beg for transport ticket to his hometown. Some months earlier, he had illegally entered Iran for work.
The 35-year-old, sitting at the side of the road, asked people for money.He told Pajhwok Afghan News: “I had borrowed 20,000 afghanis and paid that to an agent to take me to Iran.
“We walked for 11 days and faced immense problems before reaching Iran.” After three months, he was caught by Iranian authorities and deported to Afghanistan.
“We worked for a construction company and earned 1,000 afghanis daily, but all my wages remained with the employer.” He has no money to pay in fare and go home.
He recalled: “In Iran, most construction projects are carried out by foreigners, who tend to hire illegal Afghans. The workers are handed them over to police working with the company for months. Thus they are deprived of wages.”
Abdul Rahim, hailing from western Faryab province, had also gone to Iran unlawfully. He was detained on the way and deported subsequently. Police snatched everything from him, forcing him into begging.
Pledges at national and international levels notwithstanding, poverty and hunger are still a huge challenge to the country, where no step has been taken to mitigate people’s suffering. Many Afghans have to go abroad in search of work and asylum.
Sardar, who runs a small shop in the capital of Nimroz, was driven from Iran near the Turkish border one month earlier. He had stolen into to Iran thought Pakistan and was caught by Kurdish gunmen.
He said the Kurds kept him captive and sought contract numbers of family.They contacted his family and asked for $15,000 in ransom. He was released after Turkish police raided the area where he was held for 10 days.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Hashim Elham, head of the Afghanistan Red Crescent Society (ARCS), confirmed the presence of deportees in Nimroz. But the organisation has no programme to help them.
Residents of Zaranj believe the existence of such people represent a risk for them. Mohammad Akbar alleged deportees-- down and out -- created problems for the people. They sleep on the roads, besides promoting the culture of begging.
Ahmad Hussaini, acting director of refugees and repatriation, said no assistance had been provided by humanitarian organisations for deportees. He asked the ministry to release funds for them.
Seeking asylum in Europe and other developed countries. 600 individuals are said to have crossed the borders into Pakistan and Iran. En route to Europe, their next destination is Turkey.
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