Human Rights Watch Calls For Investigation Into Allegation Of Iran Border Guards Drowning Afghans

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called for a “thorough investigation” into “shocking” allegations that Iranian border guards beat and then forced a group of Afghan migrants into a river.

Afghan officials said up to 70 migrants last week illegally crossed into Iran, where they were beaten, tortured, and then forced into a river by Iranian border guards.

Authorities in the western province of Herat, located along the border with Iran, said they had retrieved 12 bodies from the Harirud River that crosses both countries.

“The allegations are indeed shocking,” Patricia Gossman, an associate director for the Asia division at HRW, told RFE/RL on May 4. “It really requires a very thorough investigation into what exactly happened.”

Gossman said that if proven, the actions of the Iranian border guards would amount to “a very serious human rights violation.”

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Musavi said the “incident” took place on Afghan soil.

Afghan officials said it was not the first time that Afghans had been tortured and killed by Iranian security forces guarding the 920-kilometer-long border

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