Iran Claims Participation Of Over 100,000 Afghan Migrants In President’s Funeral

Saturday, 05/25/2024

As per IRNA news agency and General Directorate of Foreign Nationals and Immigrants of Khorasan Razavi Province, of the nearly 700,000 Afghan migrants residing in Mashhad, 100,000 participated in the funeral ceremony of Ebrahim Raisi.

While the General Directorate of Foreign Nationals and Immigrants of Khorasan Razavi did not specify how this number was calculated, IRNA reported that before the start of Raisi's funeral, Hossein Sharafati-Rad, Director General of the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs in Khorasan Razavi province, attended a memorial service for Raisi in Mashhad held by Herat residents, in which reportedly thousands of Afghan migrants participated.

The claim of thousands of attendees at the ceremony held by Herat residents is made despite the fact that photos from the event do not appear to show a crowd of even a few hundred people, and images of Afghan migrants at Raisi's funeral indicate a very small number of participants.

According to the General Directorate of Foreign Nationals and Immigrants of Khorasan Razavi, after Tehran, which has the highest number of foreign migrants, Mashhad has nearly 400,000 documented foreign nationals and close to 300,000 undocumented foreign nationals.

At the said ceremony, the director-general claimed that the establishment of the National Migration Organisation was one of Ebrahim Raisi's legacies, although this claim is disputed since the draft for establishing this organisation was prepared and sent to parliament during the Rouhani administration.

The policy of the Iranian government towards Afghan migrants, including the difficulties they face in education and employment in Iran, as well as restrictions on their movement and residence in certain provinces, has drawn significant criticism in recent years.

In a report in June 2023, the Didban Iran website noted that some public schools in Iran were illegally charging Afghan students for enrolment.

According to the "Children's Assistance Association," public schools were taking amounts ranging from 500,000 Iranian tomans to millions from Afghan students, which is considered a "bribe" and is illegal.

Previously, the Director-General of Foreign Nationals and Immigrants Affairs of Kermanshah Province announced a ban on the movement, residence, and employment of Afghan migrants in 16 provinces: East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan, Ardabil, Zanjan, Kurdistan, Kermanshah, Ilam, Lorestan, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Gilan, Mazandaran, Sistan and Baluchistan, Hormozgan, and Hamadan.

An Iranian media also reported that parts of the provinces of Isfahan, Bushehr, South Khorasan, Khorasan Razavi, Khuzestan, Semnan, Fars, Qazvin, Kerman, Golestan, and Yazd are off-limits for Afghan residents.

Earlier this year, more than 540 artists, lawyers, doctors, journalists, and civil and social activists called for an end to the harassment of Afghan migrants in Iran, stating that Iran's legal system has, over the years, created significant obstacles and challenges to the integration of migrants into the host society.

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