Stop the deportations—Afghanistan is not safe

There is a determined effort under way by the Immigration department to forcibly deport a Hazara asylum seeker for the first time. In the last three weeks, the Immigration department has attempted to deport at least six Hazara asylum seekers—some to Pakistan and some to Afghanistan.

In some cases, the removals team is snatching people from the community before they have been notified that they are liable to be removed. So far, last minute legal action has prevented them being removed.Immigration is ramping up refugee deportations to Afghanistan

But neither Pakistan nor Afghanistan is safe for Hazaras. The brother of the man being deported to Pakistan was killed in the 10 January bombing in Quetta, where over 210 Hazaras have been killed and around 400 injured in four bomb blasts in two months.

On 13 March, a group of 30 Afghan MPs wrote to the Federal Government urging it to abandon plans to remove asylum seekers to Kabul.Among other things, the letter says the security situation in the Afghan capital is getting worse and attackers are targeting Hazaras.

Kabul MP Mohammed Ibhrahim Qasemi says the Afghan government cannot protect anyone returned as it already struggles to provide security and basic services. “We already have too much problem here,” he said. “If they came here, we cannot help them.”

Ian Rintoul

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