Azaranica is a non-biased news aggregator on Hazaras. The main aim is to promote understanding and respect for cultural identities by highlighting the realities they face on daily basis...Hazaras have been the victim of active persecution and discrimination and one of the reasons among many has been the lack of information, awareness, and disinformation.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

'Stop deporting Afghans'

AUSTRALIA'S leading authority on Afghanistan has called for a moratorium on the deportation of failed Afghan asylum-seekers.
The call came with the warning that they faced the risk of persecution or death if forced to return to their homeland.
The warning from William Maley, director of the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy at the Australian National University, is supported by research showing that at least nine Afghans deported when their asylum claims were rejected were killed after being forced to return to war-torn Afghanistan.
Professor Maley says the Gillard government's plan to repatriate a group of about 50 Afghans in coming months will put them in grave danger. Most of those facing forced removal are members of the ethnic Hazara minority, who have been persecuted by the Taliban, which controls large areas of the countryside.
"In Afghanistan, there is a pervasive fear, fuelled by Western politicians talking openly about the need to reconcile with the Taliban, that the country is heading back to the dark days before September 11, 2001," Professor Maley told The Australian.
"It is therefore no surprise that ethnic Hazaras, a group ferociously persecuted at that time, are desperate to escape.
"Unfortunately the Immigration Department's processing of refugee claims has become so haphazard there is a grave danger that people in need of protection might be thrown, metaphorically, to the wolves. There should be a moratorium on returning anyone to Afghanistan until the integrity of the assessment process can be properly guaranteed."
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen told The Australian last week his department was finalising arrangements for the repatriation of an initial group of about 50 Afghans in the coming months.
"I have grave fears for Afghans who are sent back," said Phil Glendenning, director of the Edmund Rice Centre, a Catholic group that has followed the fate of about 270 failed asylum-seekers, including nine Afghans who were killed after being sent home by the Howard government.
In one case documented by the centre, an ethnic Hazara man, Mohammed Hussain, was deported to Afghanistan in 2008 from Nauru, where he had been detained under the Howard-era Pacific Solution.
Mr Glendenning says Hussain, who had formerly been an anti-Taliban fighter, was kidnapped by Taliban forces and taken back to his home village in Afghanistan's Ghazni province.
"He was thrown down a well in front of 35 members of his family, and then they threw a grenade down and decapitated him," says Mr Glendenning, who met Hussain in Kabul in September 2008. He says Hussain expressed fears at the time that he would be killed..
In a second case, another deportee from Nauru, Abdul Azmin Rajabi, saw his daughters aged six and nine killed when the family was targeted four months after their return to Afghanistan.
"If the government can't guarantee their safety, they should not be returned,' Mr Glendenning told The Australian.
Professor Maley says the targeting of returnees is "more likely now than in 2008".
According to the UN, 2010 was the most violent year in Afghanistan since the war began, with 2777 civilians killed, three-quarters of them by insurgents.
The Taliban has stated that its policy is to exterminate the Hazara people.
Hundreds of Afghans, mostly Hazaras, could face deportation as about 50 per cent of Afghan asylum claims are now being rejected.

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