December 24, 2018
Dressed up in Iranian military fatigues, the man in the video slaps a group of young Afghan men lined up in front of a wall following a brief inquiry.
He then forces them to do sit-ups while the person filming the scene laughs.
The video went viral on social media last week, drawing stern criticism from ordinary Afghans, government officials, and lawmakers, leading Iran to pledge a probe into the incident.
However, dissatisfied from Tehran’s response, the Afghan Foreign Ministry on Saturday summoned Iran’s deputy ambassador, Sayed Saeed Hussaini, to lodge a complaint about the “mistreatment, beating and insult of Afghan refugees by an Iranian police member.”
According to the ministry, Hussaini said that the Iranian police officer’s move was in contravention of Islamic thoughts, insisting that the issue should be thoroughly investigated by Iranian officials.
Iran’s embassy in Kabul could not immediately be reached for comment on Sunday. However, it released a statement last week terming the incident as “unacceptable.” “The mistreatment and beating of a number of Afghan citizens are unacceptable,” the statement said.
Islamuddin Jurat, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s Ministry of Refugees Repatriation told Arab News on Sunday that Iran has vowed to share the outcome of the investigation with Afghanistan.
The latest incident is one among several that have been documented and shown to the public in recent years, Afghan officials and lawmakers said, with some of the returning refugees stating that far more “heinous” acts have not been revealed, adding that acts to humiliate migrants were common among some Iranian forces.
“Well, in the past we had some cases that were unveiled, one of them was the gang-rape of a seven-year-old Afghan refugee girl by Iranians. Fortunately, Iran arrested some of the culprits and handed them a prison sentence,” Jurat said.
Farooq Nazari, a lawmaker from Afghanistan’s Herat province which borders Iran said that several refugees, who were returning from all parts of the country, have complained about being mistreated by Iran’s border force.
“We have informed the central government and local authorities about these reports. Mistreatment cannot be condoned. The refugees say that the treatment of the border force is inhumane and un-Islamic,” he told Arab News.
He added that most of those who complain are the ones who have gone to Iran with proper documents and visas, but had stayed back despite expired visas.
More than 900,000 Afghans with documents and nearly 1.2 million Afghans without passports and other documents have lived for decades in Iran.
According to press reports and experiences narrated by Afghan refugees, in recent years, thousands of them have been recruited by Iran for fighting in Syria in support of President Bashar Al Assad’s regime in return for some concessions, which include permanent residency and money.