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Repatriation Too Dangerous for Many Afghan Refugees

Thousands of unregistered Afghan refugees living near Peshawar, Pakistan, could be deported back to Taliban-controlled Afghanista, where gender apartheid and ethnic and cultural genocide are devastating a population already strained by a severe drought. Pakistan’s decision would directly affect more than 80,000 refugees living in Jalozai, a makeshift camp in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan, and would affect any future refugees seeking to enter Pakistan. While the NWFP governor denied that deportation would put thousands of Afghans at risk for persecution at the hands of the Taliban, International Rescue Committee leader Sigurd Hanson confirmed that “many [Afghan refugees] would be at serious risk for reasons of gender, ethnicity, or politics. These groups should not be sent back.” The majority of refugees are women and children, and most of the refugees who have recently arrived in Pakistan are members of minority ethnic groups who are persecuted by the Taliban.

Take Action to help Afghan refugees by urging the United States to respond to this devastating humanitarian crisis with the release of emergency assistance funds.

Sources:

UN OCHA Integrated Regional Information Network for Central Asia Ð March 28, 2001

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