Afghans in Iran faced with grim choices amid harsh restrictions 

KABUL (SW) – A number of Afghan refugees in Iran complain that not only do they not have access to the basic necessities of life, but they cannot even buy a meal because they do not have a bank account.

An Afghan refugee, Faridullah, who went to Iran legally, told Salam Watandar that he migrated to Iran due to unemployment and poverty, and now he does not have access to the basic facilities of life there.

He added: “The bank card is a big problem because the refugees do not have access to it and we have to borrow other people’s cards. It also has two copies and is not protected because another person can withdraw money whenever he wants from my account.”

Another Afghan refugee, Harun Basir, said that because the refugees don’t have a bank card, they are begging Iranians to buy a meal for them. He added: “Afghan refugees in Iran have many problems. They do not have facilities for education or health services. The authorities don’t give bank cards to the refugees, and we are begging the Iranians to provide food for the family.”

Ferishta, another Afghan refugee in Iran, expresses her concern that not only will Afghan refugees not have access to education and health services in this country, but also that the Iranian government has not renewed the identity cards of Afghan refugees and after that, they will not have any legal protection and even face the problem of forced eviction.

Asifa Stanakzai, the director of the Afghan Refugee Support Foundation in Iran, is also concerned about the situation of Afghan refugees in this country and said that the Islamic Emirate should solve the problems of Afghan refugees through political means. She also called on international organisations to support Afghan refugees in Iran.

Based on the information of the Ministry of Refugees and Returnees, more than three million Afghans have migrated to Iran, and they face physical and psychological violence from time to time. We tried to get the ministry’s opinion on the problems of Afghan refugees in Iran, but despite repeated efforts, we could not.