MOSCOW, July 16 (Sputnik) – A prominent human rights watchdog on Monday denounced the deportations of Afghan asylum seekers at a time when the number of civilian casualties in the conflict-torn country has hit a new record as an “unconscionable” act and a “brazen” breach of international law.
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said Sunday that the conflict in the country claimed 1,692 civilian deaths in the first six months of this year, which is more than at any comparable period of time since the mission began documenting civilian casualties in 2009. A number of those injured totaled 3,430. Terrorist attacks with the use of improvised explosive devices and ground engagements were the main causes of casualties.
“Given the numbers of people who continue to be killed and injured in Afghanistan, it is unconscionable to claim that the country is safe enough to send people back to. Callously diverting their eyes from the bloodshed, states that once pledged their support for the Afghan people are now putting their lives in immediate danger, in brazen violation of international law,” the deputy director for South Asia at Amnesty International, Omar Waraich, said as quoted in the watchdog’s statement.
Amnesty stressed that the international community “cannot abandon” Afghans fleeing conflict and called on governments to suspend their forced deportations.
The statement also referred to the story of a 19-year-old woman of Afghan origin and her family, who were subjected to deportation from Norway, calling out the Norwegian government for its hypocrisy.
“The Norwegian government cannot pretend that Afghanistan is safe. It strongly advises its own citizens against traveling to any part of the country, and the area around its own embassy in Kabul has been hit in attacks by armed groups. Is their desperation to look tough on migration such that they are prepared to crush a teenager’s dreams and put her and her family in danger?” Waraich argued.
The watchdog also criticized German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer for welcoming Afghan deportations as “sadly typical of the callous attitude that colors European indifference to Afghan suffering.”
Finally, Amnesty slammed Turkey for forcibly returning “thousands of Afghans” and facilitating deportations under the 2016 deal with the European Union.
Afghanistan has long been suffering from political, social and security-related instability due to simmering insurgency, including that of the Taliban radical movement and the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia). European nations have repeatedly faced calls to halt deportations to Afghanistan on humanitarian grounds.