US appalled by the behavior of Iran’s regime toward Afghan refugees
Following the reports of Afghan refugees being drowned in Herat river by Iranian border guards, US Acting Assistant Secretary for South Asia Alice Wells said: “Iran's cruel treatment and abuse of Afghan migrants alleged in these reports is horrifying."
It was reported that several Afghan migrants illegally crossing the border into Iran drowned after being forced into a river by Iranian border guards last week.
On Tuesday, a number of residents of Herat in Afghanistan gathered in front of the Iranian consulate in protest to the murder of several Afghan citizens on the border of Iran.
The Afghan government has launched an investigation into claims that the migrants drowned Friday while illegally crossing into the neighboring country from western Herat province.
The US embassy in Kabul tweeted: “We share the concerns of the Afghan government, civil society, and people about reports of killings and abuse against Afghan migrants along the border with Iran."
One refugee told RFL: "After torturing us, Iranian border guards fired their guns and ordered all of us to jump into the river. While we were struggling for our lives and drowning in the river, they were laughing."
The Afghan Human Rights Commission said it had spoken to survivors who accused Iranian forces of beating and torturing them.
"They were made to cross the Harirud river, as a result, a number of them drowned and some survived," it said in a statement Sunday.
The Iranian consulate in Herat has dismissed the reports.
An Afghan government official, who did not want to be named, said after the incident that seven migrants had died and 30 were missing, quoting survivors who returned to Herat.