Among 8,000 Foreign Prisoners Most Are Afghans, Says Iranian Official

Wednesday, 06/12/2024

Askar Jalalian, Iran’s deputy justice minister for human rights, has stated that currently, there are eight thousand foreign nationals imprisoned in Iran, most of whom are from Afghanistan.

He mentioned that efforts are being made to repatriate these prisoners to their home countries, provided they consent.

IRNA news agency, reported on Wednesday that the Iranian Ministry of Justice is trying to return foreign prisoners to their respective countries through extradition treaties.

Iran’s deputy justice minister for human rights told IRNA, "Currently, the highest number of foreign prisoners in Iranian prisons are from Afghanistan, and our effort is to return all of them to their country. However, due to infrastructural weaknesses in Afghanistan, this has not been possible."

Jalalian said that he is trying to negotiate with the Taliban's prisoner transfer committee to transfer Afghan prisoners, but the transfer is conditional on the prisoner's consent.

He said, "Although housing foreign prisoners imposes financial, political, and security costs on the government, the transfer of prisoners depends on their consent, and if they do not consent, the transfer will not take place."

This Iranian official's announcement of the extradition of Afghan prisoners to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan comes amid previous reports of the arrest of former Afghan security forces and members of anti-Taliban fronts in Iran.

Previously, Iran had handed over Afghan prisoners to the Taliban on several occasions.

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