European countries are forcibly returning thousands of failed Afghan asylum seekers, knowing they are at serious risk of torture, kidnapping, death and other human rights abuses, Amnesty International revealed.
The human rights group says the deportations are a ‘brazen violation’ of international law. Between 2015 and 2016, European Union figures show the number of Afghans returned by European countries almost tripled, from just more than 3,000 to 9,500.
Amnesty International’s Audrey Gaughran told VOA the migrants are being sent back to a country still in the grip of war.
“2016 was the deadliest year on record in Afghanistan since monitoring began. And in 2016 there were 11,000 casualties. Thus far in 2017 the United Nations has recorded more than 16,000 security incidents. So people are being sent back in greater numbers as the situation in Afghanistan deteriorates.”
Many Afghan asylum seekers feel unfairly treated, compared to other nationalities.
Mohammed Jamshidi was deported to Kabul from Germany last month.
Jamshidi said at Kabul airport; “In every corner of Europe, the priority is given to the people of Syria. They need only three months to get registered, but Afghans are deported after years of staying in Germany.”
Amnesty highlighted cases of returned Afghans who were killed or injured in bomb attacks, and others left in fear of persecution for their religion or sexual orientation.Several were sent back to parts of Afghanistan they had never known. European governments justified these returns saying there were safe areas of the country.