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UN:Pakistan and Iran Deport Afghan Refugees in Violation of Geneva Convention - 2001-11-30


A United Nations official says Iran and Pakistan are forcibly deporting some Afghan refugees in violation of the Geneva Convention on refugee rights.

A U-N spokesman in Kabul (Yusuf Hassan) said several thousand Afghan refugees had been pushed back across Iran's border in recent days. He said about 300 refugees had been turned back from Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province.

The U-N spokesman said the exact number expelled by Iran is not clear because they were being pushed back under cover of darkness.

The United Nations has urged Iran, Pakistan, and all of Afghanistan's neighbors to refrain from further deportation of refugees because of the security situation.

U-N officials in Geneva said (Friday) that thousands of refugees continue to cross into Pakistan because of fighting and lawlessness in southern Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, U-N officials say more than 45-thousand Afghan refugees have returned home voluntarily from Iran in the past three months. They say the pace of repatriation has increased sharply since Northern Alliance forces captured the western city of Herat in early November.

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