14 Afghan refugees killed by Turkish & Iranian authorities

The Amnesty International has accused Turkish and Iranian border authorities of killing at least 14 Afghan refugees in the last year.

The UK-based NGO said it had documented the "unlawful killing" of 11 Afghans by Iranian security forces and of three by Turkish security forces, in a report entitled "They Don't Treat us Like Humans" released on Wednesday.

The rights group also said Iranian and Turkish security forces had repeatedly pushed back Afghans attempting to cross into those countries to reach safety, dpa news agency reported.

Iranian security forces had repeatedly shot at crowded cars, while Turkish border guards had unlawfully used live ammunition, the report said.

The figures relate to the period since the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan in August 2021.

The humanitarian situation in the country has since deteriorated significantly.

Amnesty interviewed 74 Afghan citizens and five government officials, lawyers and other experts between November 2021 and May 2022 for the report.

The organisation also identified a total of 255 cases of illegal deportation between March 2021 and May 2022.

The Geneva Convention on Refugees obliges host countries not to repatriate refugees to a country where they face persecution.

Turkey grants refugee status to citizens of European countries under the convention, while offering only a temporary protection status to Syrian refugees.

Numerous reports from other NGOs suggest that refugee status is also denied to Afghans in Turkey for the most part.

According to the Turkish Ministry of the Interior, around 43,000 Afghans have already been deported to Afghanistan so far this year.