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Iran to free hundreds of Afghan prisoners

Iran to free hundreds of Afghan prisoners

May 01, 2011 - 16:30

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Hundreds of Afghan citizens languishing in Iranian jails would be released in the near future, the Ministry of Refugee and Returnee Affairs in Kabul said on Sunday.

Iran would free around 400 jailed Afghan refugees as a result of fruitful talks in Tehran with representatives of the ministry and the International Committee of the Red Cross in that country.

Despite repeated efforts by the Afghan government, Iran refused to provide information regarding Afghans on death row in that country, Minister of Justice Habibullah Ghalib said in January this year. He put at more than 5,000 the number of Afghan refugees imprisoned in Iran.

Foreign Minister Dr. Zalmay Rasoul, on his return from a visit to Tehran in May 2010, said that 90 of the condemned prisoners had been executed.

According to a statement from the ministry, the stay of Afghan refugee children studying at Iranian schools would be extended for another six months in line with an agreement between the two sides.

The accord also provides for healthinfo-icon insurance cards to approximately a million legal Afghan refugees in Iran. A third of three million Afghans currently living in Iran are said to be illegal.

The agreement was reached at the 20th trilateral meeting among Afghan, Iranian and UHCR officials in Kabul. The five-day meeting concluded on April 13.



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