Pakistan:Police Abusing Afghans


Beatings, Extortion Harm Livelihoods, Generate Flight to Afghanistan


(New York) – Pakistan’s government should take all necessary measures to end the rampant police harassment, threats, and violence against Afghans living in Pakistan, Human Rights Watch said today in a new report. Incidents of police abuses against Afghans have skyrocketed since the Pakistani Taliban attacked a school in Peshawar in December 2014, and is prompting many Afghans to return to war-torn Afghanistan and possibly seek asylum in Europe.

“The Pakistani police’s outrageous mistreatment of Afghans over the past year calls for an immediate government response,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director. “The Pakistani government should press the police to apprehend perpetrators of atrocities instead of scapegoating the entire Afghan community.”

The 37-page report, “‘What Are You Doing Here?’: Police Abuses against Afghans in Pakistan,” documents myriad rights violations against Afghans in Pakistan since December 2014. The Pakistani government is obligated to ensure that all law enforcement and other government officials treat Afghans living in Pakistan with dignity and respect for their human rights in compliance with domestic and international law. Ending police abuses and ensuring that Afghans are treated fairly should be a first step toward formulating a viable legal framework to manage the Afghan population in Pakistan.

Human Rights Watch interviewed 50 Afghans who had returned to Afghanistan after living many years in Pakistan, and 46 Afghans living in Pakistan, as well as Pakistani and Afghan government officials, staff of nongovernmental and community-based organizations, United Nations refugee agency officials, diplomats, journalists, and other experts.

Pakistan is host to one of the largest displaced populations in the world. The 1.5 million registered Afghan refugees and 1 million undocumented Afghans that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates are living in Pakistan as of November 2015 include many who fled conflict and repression in Afghanistan during the late 1970s and early 1980s, and their descendants. Some arrived as children, grew up in Pakistan, married, and had children of their own who have never lived in Afghanistan. Others have arrived in the decades of turmoil in Afghanistan since, seeking security, employment, and a higher standard of living....


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