Iran has continued to deport refugees back to Afghanistan despite the problems the war-torn country faces (Picture: Getty)
Tens of thousands of Afghan migrants are being sent back to the Taliban-ruled country from Iran every week, despite the threat of famine.
Amid a growing humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country, aid agencies have accused Tehran of exacerbating the situation.
During decades of conflict, millions of Afghans have crossed into their western neighbour seeking to escape violence and a shattered economy.
The Taliban-takeover in mid-August has coincided with a severe drought leaving most of the country facing food shortages.
But Iran has continued its programme of deportations, with more than a million Afghans sent back this year and 28,000 in the last week of October alone.
Returning Afghans who spoke to the AFP news agency reported being held in crowded, filthy detention camps where some were beaten before being transported to the border crossing.
‘They did not see us as humans,’ said Abdul Samad, 19, who had been working in construction in Iran before he was deported.
Samad said at the border he was beaten by Iranian authorities in a migrant detention camp because he had no money to pay for his deportation.
Afghans being deported back from Iran are adding to the problems facing Afghanistan (Picture: Getty)
Those being deported have claimed they were beaten (Picture: Getty)
‘They tied our hands and blindfolded our eyes with pieces of cloth, and insulted us,’ he said.
Increasing returns to the country have compounded the challenges facing Afghanistan, International Organization for Migration director general Antonio Vitorino said in a statement.
‘The majority were deported, returning to Afghanistan often broke and broken, in need of health support, food and rest,’ he said.
The UN migration agency, which provides assistance to those in need at the border, said it had counted at least 3,200 unaccompanied children among those crossing from Iran this year.
The Taliban took control of Afghanistan again in mid-August (Picture: Getty)
The UN has appealed to nations to stop deportations (Picture: Getty)
The UN refugee agency UNHCR has appealed to all nations to stop the forced returns of Afghans given the ‘highly volatile situation’, and has been continuing to ‘advocate with the government of Iran’.
Iran, which shares a 900-kilometre (560-mile) border with Afghanistan, has always said it welcomes Afghan refugees and provides them with needed assistance, and has sent aid shipments to the neighbouring country in recent weeks.
It comes as officials from Iran are due to meet with British counterparts to discuss the Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe case.
The British-Iranian dual national, has been in custody in Iran since 2016 after being accused of plotting to overthrow the government.
Millions of Afghans have fled to Iran over the past 40 years (Picture: Getty)
Afghans are facing a severe famine due to drought and the Taliban takeover (Picture: getty)
She was taking the her daughter, Gabriella, to see her family when she was arrested and sentenced to five years in jail, spending four years in Evin Prison and one under house arrest.
Her husband Richard Ratcliffe, who today entered his 19th day of a hunger strike being staged to raise awareness of the case, hailed the meeting as a ‘breakthrough.’
Mr Radcliffe began his demonstration last month after his wife lost her latest appeal in Iran, saying his family is ‘caught in a dispute between two states’.
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