Amnesty Calls on Pakistan to Stop Deporting, Detaining, and Harassing Afghan Refugees

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Amnesty International is calling on the federal government to immediately stop the ongoing detentions, deportations, and harassment of Afghan refugees in Pakistan. The government initiated a nationwide operation on November 1 to deport illegal foreign nationals, with the majority being Afghan refugees who had not left the country by the voluntary departure deadline.

In a press release, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for South Asia Campaigns, Livia Saccardi, expressed concern that Afghan refugees were being used as “political pawns” and faced potential risks to their safety and well-being if deported to Afghanistan. Saccardi emphasized the principle of non-refoulement, which prohibits the expulsion of individuals to a state where they may face persecution.

Amnesty International also highlighted the lack of transparency, due process, and accountability in the detentions and deportations of Afghan refugees. The organization raised concerns about the treatment of detainees in holding centers, citing violations of their legal rights and the lack of access to legal assistance and communication with family members.

The press release also shared the experiences of Afghan refugees living in constant fear and anxiety, as well as the challenges faced by religious minority refugees. It called on the government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to expedite the registration process for asylum seekers, especially women, girls, journalists, and those from minority and ethnic communities.

Overall, Amnesty International called for a halt to the deportations and urged Pakistan to fulfill its international human rights obligations to ensure the safety and well-being of Afghan refugees within its borders.

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