Refugees from Afghanistan were deported from Tajikistan for violating local laws, according to a report by the Tajik government to the UN Human Rights Committee. Earlier, Afghan refugees living in Tajikistan complained about forced return to their homeland.
The report of Tajikistan to the UN Committee on Human Rights, a copy of which was obtained by Radio Ozodi on December 16, states that the main reasons for the expulsion of foreigners from the country were their violation of local laws, issues related to security and law and order, health issues and protection of legitimate interests citizens of Tajikistan
The government report was submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee in November of this year. The document, in particular, notes that one of the main reasons for the deportation is the illegal movement of Afghan refugees to cities and areas where residence was not allowed.
Most of the Afghan refugees live in the city of Vahdat, 30 kilometers east of Dushanbe. Many of them earlier in an interview with Radio Ozodi said that they live in the country legally and they have an official certificate issued by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
The Tajik authorities have been criticized by international organizations for expelling Afghans to their homeland, despite the dangers that threaten them after the new coming to power in Afghanistan of the radical Taliban movement. In the last year alone, the Tajik authorities have expelled 74 Afghan refugees to their homeland, and since the beginning of August – ten. One of the expelled Afghans had an official refugee certificate.
In August, Afghan refugees , in a letter addressed to the President of Tajikistan , stated that they were taken directly from the street or from their homes and taken to the border with Afghanistan. The refugees asked Emomali Rahmon to stop “the forced return of refugees and asylum seekers” to Afghanistan, where the Taliban are now in power.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees previously made an official statement and stressed that under international law, the deportation of refugees to their homeland is illegal.
“Tajikistan must stop detaining and deporting refugees, these actions clearly endanger people’s lives,” said Elizabeth Tan, spokesperson for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. “The forced return of refugees is against the law and the principle of non-refoulement, which is the cornerstone of international refugee law “.
According to the Tajik authorities, more than ten thousand refugees from Afghanistan live in the country, most of them fled the Taliban over the years. The vast majority of Afghan refugees say they are not making long-term plans in Tajikistan. They perceive this country as a transit point on their way to the West. Over the past year, about 4,000 Afghan refugees have moved from Tajikistan to Canada.