Afghans living in Isfahan, Iran were banned from the city’s mountainous park called Sofheh on April 1 or the 13th day of Norouz (Iranian New Year) – a day people are meant to spend outdoors – in order ‘to ensure citizens’ security and welfare’, according to the Travel Committee’s police department.
This is just the latest attack on the most vulnerable segment of Iranian society. The reported two million Afghans in Iran face huge amounts of abuse and are often scapegoated and blamed for all societal ills (sound familiar?). They end up doing the most menials tasks with little pay. They also often face beatings and mistreatment as well as violent deportations – there are ample horror stories of parents being deported whilst their children were at home and later found starved to death. Discrimination is rife. Afghan children are prohibited from attending schools. Marriages between Afghans and Iranians are also not recognised. Children born in Iran of Afghan fathers and Iranian mothers are denied birth certificates and Iranian nationality. Here’s a video of Afghans being forced by soldiers to hit themselves and say ‘We will not come to Iran again’.
In response to the regime’s latest assault on Afghans, Iranians have been quick to condemn its racism by posting photos and videos saying ‘I am also an Afghan’.
Yes indeed; we are all of us Afghans…
* Signs in Persian say ‘I am also Afghan’ and ‘No to Racism’.
(News link via Mina Ahadi)