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Rights group blames EU for endangering Afghan deportees

Afghan government insists situation in country is suitable enough to absorb citizens being forced to return from EU states

Anadolu Agency

European leaders are putting the lives of thousands of Afghans in danger by forcing them back to war-ravaged Afghanistan, where they face risk of severe human rights abuses, an international human rights body said Thursday.

In a new report titled “Forced Back to Danger: Asylum-Seekers Returned from Europe to Afghanistan”, Amnesty International details harrowing cases of Afghans who have been returned 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.

Citing official EU statistics, the report noted that the number of Afghans returned by European countries to Afghanistan nearly tripled in 2016 to 9,460 from 3,290 in 2015.

Addressing a moot in this connection in capital Kabul, Amnesty International’s Afghanistan Researcher Horia Mosadiq said the deal between the Afghan government and the European countries on the sidelines of Brussels Conference had also played a key role in triggering mass deportation.

“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,” Mosadiq said while urging the EU to consider the volatile situation in Afghanistan, and halt the review of their decision.

Last year at the Brussels Conference, the EU and its member states pledged $5.6 billion for Afghanistan over the next four years against Kabul’s commitments for reforms.

The report listed the cases of at least four Afghan deportees who went through trauma upon return and now feel their lives were in great danger in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the Afghan government insists the situation in the country is suitable enough to absorb its citizens returning from abroad.

Ministry of Refugees and Repatriates spokesman Hafiz Miakhail told Anadolu Agency a the government had a number of plans to ensure the successful integration of repatriating Afghans.

Also on Thursday, Deputy Managing Director European Union External Action Paola Pampaloni told senior officials meeting in Kabul the progress achieved by the Afghan Government this year had allowed the disbursement of the first tranche of 100 million euros ($117.35 million) of budget support under the state building contract.

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