Afghan returnee “caught between the choices of re – migration or fighting for survival”

*Hassan was deported from Norway to Afghanistan in 2018. He went to Norway when he was only 15 years old and was deported to Afghanistan when he was 19. According to him, he hadn’t committed any crime and was only deported due to the agreements between the Afghan and the Norwegian government.

Since his return, he has already tried once to flee the country. When he was deported, he was in Kabul for a short time, but didn’t see any chance of survival. So he decided to go to Iran. He stayed in Iran for almost 1 year where he worked and saved some money before he went to Turkey. He lived in Turkey for few months, but was arrested and deported from Turkey back to Afghanistan. He is currently lying on a hospital bed in Daikundi province recovering from the wound he sustained on his right hand as a result of a bullet shot.

The Taliban have been advancing and taking over many districts and have ambushed some major cities like Kanhdahar, Mazar e Sharif and Herat in the past couple of months. They have also attacked some of the safest provinces like Daikundi and Bamyan. The current waves of attacks all around Afghanistan have caused a civil uprising where people are forced to take up arms and fight the terrorist group. Daikundi hasn’t stayed safe from the Taliban attack either and has been attacked on several fronts. People in Daikundi have also been taking up arms to help the Afghan security forces. According to Hassan, the Afghan security forces provided the civilians with weapons and ammunition to stand against the Taliban.

Hassan had also joined the cause to stand against the terrorist group and defend his home town of Daikundi. One night, the Taliban attacked the check post where Hassan was stationed. All of the people present with Hassan at the checkpoint were either killed or injured during that night. Hassan received a bullet in his right hand. Since that incident, he has been thinking of finding ways to get out of the country again and find safety. According to Hassan, he has never witnessed death from so close ever before.

Afghanistan, a war zone

Hassan’s story is the story of so many in Afghanistan today, regardless of whether the person concerned is an ex – asylum seeker or not. This situation was foreseeable and those living in Afghanistan feared the return of such days. Uncertainty and the deteriorating security situation have always been two of the major push factors for the Afghan migrants. But for young boys like Hassan there was a hope they would be granted asylum and protection from the evil. In response, they faced cold heartedness from the European authorities. Thousands of young boys like Hassan have had their faith in Europe betrayed and have been forcefully deported back to Afghanistan.  

For thousands of those deported over the past several years, deportation was not the end of a migration cycle, but start of a new dangerous journey to safety. Some of those I have worked with have already found safety in one of the other European countries and some of those deported are struggling to find a means

 of survival and safety in the country. For Hassan, witnessing death from so close, there is no future for him in this country and his only way out of this disaster is to get out of the country, once again.

He says’ once he recovers and gets out of the hospital, he will come to Kabul and will decide how and where to go.

* HASSAN is not his real name and is used to save his identity

Press statement | Austria

Austria and Germany have been pressuring the Afghan government and the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation to accept returns to Afghanistan. The pressure started building after the Ministry sent an official letter to all the European and non – European countries that regularly deport Afghans, to halt deportation to Afghanistan for at least 3 months, starting from the 8th of July.

Several countries like Sweden, Finland and Norway agreed to temporarily halt deportations to Afghanistan. However, Germany and Austria started putting unimaginable pressure on the Afghan government to ignore the current crisis and allow them to continue forcibly returning Afghans.

On July 27th 2021, Germany’s envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Jasper Wieck visited the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation to urge the Minister to allow the deportation of 10 Afghans to go ahead. He has argued that there is an upcoming election in Germany and his government needs this symbolic gesture. He has also stated that all of those included in the upcoming charter will be people with criminal records (but similar claims have been made in the past when group deportations have included people without convictions). According to sources in Germany, these deportations are scheduled for 10th of August.  

Austria has been putting the same kind of pressure on the Afghan authorities to accept deportation to Afghanistan. According to reliable sources both inside Austria and Afghanistan the Austrian government has threatened to close the Afghanistan Embassy in Vienna if Afghanistan refuses to accept deportation to Afghanistan.

As a result of the pressure put on the Afghan government, MoRR has now agreed to allow 2 charter planes from Austria, the first of which is scheduled for tomorrow, 3rd of August 2021, and to accept the deportation of 10 Afghans a week later from Germany.  And all of this against the backdrop of increasing violence, which has now moved to the cities.

Meanwhile in Afghanistan

Fighting has intensified all around Afghanistan, with at least half of rural districts in the hands of Taliban. Not only the smaller districts and villages, Taliban have launched attacks on key provincial capitals, such as Lashkar Gah, Kandahar and Herat. Herat, the third biggest city in Afghanistan has been a battleground for the last 4 to 5 days, with residents reporting bodies lying in the streets, the Khawaja Abdullah Ansari airport (the only route in and out of the besieged city) closed and an attack on the UN compound.

In this frightening and unstable situation, when hundreds of thousands of Afghans are being displaced by the fighting, we expect countries like Germany and Austria, as they abandon Afghanistan and close their borders to refugees, to at least issue temporary protection status to Afghans already there and to allow them to seek work to try and support their families who are in crisis, as Afghan refugees have done throughout the decades.

Press statement | Germany

German Elections and Symbolic Gestures at the expense of Afghans

Weeks before national elections, Germany is putting pressure on the Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation to accept the upcoming charter planned for the 10th of August as a signal to the right of the German electorate that the government is tough on migration. In spite of horrific data from UNAMA about the highest numbers of casualties since the peaks 2014-18, two thirds of which were in the last two months,  massive Taliban gains across the country and 350,000 internally displaced people, all that counts for those in power in Germany is holding on to that power.

According to news from Germany and other reliable sources, the German ambassador met with the MORR authorities and pleaded with the Minister to allow the deportation to go ahead. This follows a letter sent by the Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation to the European Union urging them to halt all deportations for at least 3 months given the deteriorating security situation and the resurgence of Covid-19. Since then, 3 countries (Sweden, Finland and Norway) have agreed to temporary halt deportation to Afghanistan. In contrast to the Scandinavian approach, the German and Austrian authorities are pushing ahead with deportations.

We condemn the German government’s approach to this matter and find it illogical and irrational. Afghanistan is going through its most violent phase in years. According to the report published by UNAMA yesterday, there has been an increase of 47% in casualties in comparison with the same period last year. For Germany to still put pressure on the Afghan government and blackmail them to accept returns to Afghanistan is not only inhumane, but will also put lives of many returnees at direct risk.

We are hiring! Graphic Designer

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Who can apply:

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– Familiarity with the use of Social Media, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Deadline: 31-July-2021Email:

Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation has requested European countries to stop deportation to Afghanistan for 3 months

We have received a copy of the letter that has been written by MORR and sent to the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the letter, the MORR has requested MOFA to forward the letter to the European mission in Afghanistan and request all the European countries that deport Afghans to temporarily halt deportation to Afghanistan due to the growing violence and deteriorating security situation in the country

.This includes all the countries like Germany that deports under the JDMC, or those that deport under other tripartite or bilateral agreements. The European countries that are requested to halt deportation are Germany, Norway, Holland, France, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria and the UK.MORR has requested to stop deportation from 8th of July and has requested MOFA to inform the European mission and all the countries listed above about MORR’s decision.

We will further share EU’s response to the letter. But personally, I am optimistic they will listen to MORR and stop deportation due to the current political situation and the ongoing battle between the Taliban and Afghan security forces all around Afghanistan.

AMASO supports MORR’s press statement

We at AMASO fully support MORR’s stance against no returns to Afghanistan. As a charity organization working directly with returnees, we understand that Afghanistan is going through its worst phase concerning the security situation, and therefore sending anyone back to a situation like this would put the lives of the returnees in danger. As requested by the Ministry, deportation should be halted temporarily at the moment and permanently at a later point if the situation gets worse than this.

New source: MORR Social Media

Condemnation | death of 92 years old Afghan woman in Danish detention center

A 92 years old Afghan woman suffering from dementia has passed away in one of the Danish detention centers in Denmark yesterday. According to our friends and activists in Denmark, the Afghan woman was in detention center for almost a year. The victim had repeatedly requested to both the detention center and Red Cross staff about the pain she was going through, but very no attention was given to her and her health.

This incident has taken place at a time when Denmark deported 5 Afghan migrants on 31st of May this year. All of those we met had claims of mistreatment by the detention guards, but one of them confirmed he was severely tortured and humiliated. These 5 Afghan migrants were kept in Ellebæk detention center. However, looking at this incident, this indicates that all the detention/deport centers in Denmark are openly mistreating to be – deportees before they are deported to their countries of origin and are violating all the international conventions, including the convention against torture.

We call on the Danish government to stop mistreating migrants who are facing deportation and respect the international conventions. We also call on the European court of justice to investigate the mistreatment by the Danish authorities and put an end to this cruelty.

Those who were sent back | Return and reintegration of rejected asylum seekers to Afghanistan and Iraq | research

Another long waiting research has been published today that focuses on the situation of Afghans deported from Sweden back to Afghanistan. The research was initiated by Delmi and funded by the European Union.
In Afghanistan, AMASO has been part of conducting the researches along with Samul hall.

“To ensure enough respondents for the study Samuel Hall was helped by Abdul Ghafoor, founder and director of AMASO (Afghanistan Migrants Advice & Support Organisation), a civil society organisation dedicated to supporting returnees from Europe”. (p. 29).

EU should take notice of use of force against Afghan asylum seekers in Europe

On May 31st, Denmark deported 5 Afghan asylum seekers back to Afghanistan. All of those deported had passed several months in Ellebæk detention center. One of those deported had spent 17, 5 months in detention center and was supposed to be released after two weeks, but was deported before he could get out of the center, in accordance to the European law. The rest had spent, 16, 11, 7 and 12 months in the detention center.

We met them in our office in Kabul and provided them with relevant information and advice to help them find their ways in to the society and referred them to relevant organizations for support. However, they were all complaining a lot about the way they were treated in the center and when they were being tested for corona, or being deported to Afghanistan. They told me the police in the center would put them in to solitary confinement simply for asking a questions from them, or asking them for some help. The police would put the deportee in a solitary confinement and take them back to their room after few days.

One of the deportees said he was even afraid of asking a questions or demand something fearing he would be put in to isolation.

Corona test

According to the deportees, they faced the worst mistreatment during the compulsory corona test. Since they were being deported, the police had asked the deportees for a corona test. They all said, they were forced on the ground by several policemen and a test sample was taken from their mouth by force. One of the boys said he was handcuffed and a test was taken from him. He had repeatedly requested the police to release his hands and he doesn’t need to give a corona test because he doesn’t have any symptoms, but the police hadn’t listened to any of the deportees and had forcefully taken a test.

We had a copy of the corona test for all the deportees and they all were negative.

Before deportation

On the day of deportation to Afghanistan, the boys were taken in to a room to wait until the plane was ready. In that room, all the other boys were free except (JOHN). So he had requested the police to release his hands too and he wouldn’t create any trouble. He had told the police it doesn’t look good for him to be handcuffed in front of 4 others facing deportation. After the police rejected his request, he said he couldn’t control his temper and started resisting and swearing at the policemen.

The police then tied his legs too, since his hand were already handcuffed. They had started using excessive force and beating John. He said, at one point all the police were sitting on the chairs in a circles and were kicking him from one to another, like they were playing football. John’s mental health situation is too bad, that he was speaking of committing suicide when I first met him after what he had faced and the overall outcome of his migration process.

Today, on 13th of June I met all the 5 deportees again. John’s mental health situation has got worse and he has lost his appetite to eat and could hardly talk due to low energy. It is hard to confirm if the mistreatment and torture has brought and physical damage to him, but this is for sure that is has brought a lot of mental damage to him. Every time, including today he talked about his time in detention, he couldn’t control his tears and starts rubbing his hands.

Europe needs to take notice of such harsh treatment in their territories and stop behaving with asylum seekers like they are something unworthy. Despite the fact that Ellebæk detention center has already been declared “unacceptable for people” by the committee called the centre at Ellebæk in North Zealand during a visit they made to the detention center last year, but seems that nothing has changed but has got worse.

Webinar | Situation of Afghan refugees in Europe & “Afghans who have been forcibly returned’

Date and time: Sunday 2nd of May 2021, 17:00 – 18:30 Afghanistan time (14:30 to 16:00 Europe time)

Afghanistan Migrants Advice and Support Organization is organizing an online event to bring together experts and activist in the field of migration. The purpose of this event is to highlight the issues related to Afghan refugees in Europe and also bring forward the challenges those forcibly returned to Afghanistan face post return to the country. Our experts come from different backgrounds countries and have experience of working with Afghan refugees for many years.

Two of our experts will share their views and expert opinions about Europe’s behavior towards the Refugees in general and Afghan refugees in particular. They will speak about the agreements that have been signed between the EU and Afghanistan and the consequences of return to Afghanistan at this point of time. They will also provide information about new laws that are in place to help Afghan refugees get asylum in Europe. E.g. in Sweden, Afghan refugees have opportunities to get asylum through work and study. Our expert will help elaborate the options further.

Thousands of Afghans have been deported to Afghanistan over the past couple of years. Since 2016, especially after the Afghan government signed an agreement with the EU over the return of Afghans, countries like Germany and some other European and non – European countries that didn’t use to deport Afghans, started deportation to Afghanistan. After return, deportees face a range of issues from accommodation to mental health problems and a deteriorating security situation none of them are mentally ready to deal with.

Two of our experts who have been in regular contact with deportees over the past couple of years will share their experience of working with deportees and highlight the problems they face post return. They will also propose better and safer ways to help deportees.


17:00 – 17:10 Introduction by Zahra Rezaie, Monitoring Officer (AMASO)

17:10 – 17:30 Dr. Liza Schuster, Researcher and sociologist at City, University of London

17: 30 – 17: 50 Lene  kjaer, Refugee Rights Activist in Denmark

17: 50 – 18:10 Karin Fradell Anter, Activist, Sweden

18: 10 – 18: 30 Abdul Ghafoor, Afghanistan Migrants Advice and Support Org ( AMASO ) Kabul

The event will be live broadcasted on Zoom and the Facebook page of Afghanistan Migrants Advice and Support Organization

Psychosocial support sessions for deportees/returnees | session 3

On 5th of April 2021, we successfully organized our 3rd psychosocial support session with 6 participants who were in need for such session. The participants were deported from various European countries such as Germany, Sweden and Norway over the past couple of years. This session was held with the support of Peace of Mind Afghanistan. Ms. Somaya Ahmadi from PoMA and Ms. Zahra Rezai from AMASO jointly led the session.

This session was focused on 3 topics to help deportees.

  • Self-awareness
  • Types of self-awareness
  • positive, negative, and neutral characteristics

The sessions are designed inclusive and participatory to provide the participants with a platform where they can share their views and problems and find an answer to their questions. We are hopeful these session may reduce from the problems, tensions, anxiety and loneliness in absence a social network in Afghanistan. Most of our participants are those who do not have family and social network in Afghanistan. Through this sessions, we do not only aim to help them psychosocially, but also to provide them with platform where they can bond, share their problems and find an immediate solution.

This sessions will also help deportees make a group and help each other with the information and solutions they have about different issue they have been facing.