HRW Asks Iran Not To Expel Afghans

A rights watchdog has asked Iranian authorities not to carry out their plan to expel hundreds of thousands of Afghans whose visas expired on September 6.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on September 9 that due to a lack of security in Afghanistan and the absence of a fair asylum process in Iran, any mass deportation of Afghans would amount to a "serious violation of international law."

Tehran said in August that all Afghans living in Iran illegally or with temporary visas should leave the country by September 6 or face imprisonment and ultimate deportation.

It was unclear whether Iran had gone ahead with its plan.

Afghan officials said they had asked Tehran to extend the deadline and that they are still waiting for a response.