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Kabul Asks Europe To Halt Forced Deportations Of Afghans Amid Rise In Taliban Violence, Coronavirus Infections

Afghan asylum seeker in Finland (file photo)

Kabul has requested that European countries halt the compulsory deportation of Afghan asylum seekers for the next three months due to increased Taliban violence and a rise in coronavirus infections in Afghanistan.

The "war situation" and a third wave of COVID-19 infections have caused economic and social unrest in Afghanistan, the country's Refugees and Repatriation Ministry said in a July 10 statement, leaving the ministry "worried about the return of Afghan migrants."

The ministry added that it "does not consider the current situation in the country suitable for the forced return of Afghan migrants until the security situation improves."

The statement also expressed concern about the increase in internally displaced people and a new wave of asylum seekers to foreign countries.

The Taliban has gained control of a growing amount of territory in Afghanistan, including large stretches of the border since U.S.-led international forces officially began their withdrawal from Afghanistan on May 1.

Amid the rising insecurity in the war-ravaged country, many European states are deporting rejected Afghan asylum seekers.

Afghanistan has recorded more than 131,000 coronavirus infections and 5,500 related deaths.

Based on reporting by Radio Azadi correspondents on the ground in Afghanistan. Their names are being withheld for their protection. Material from dpa was also used in this story.
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    RFE/RL's Radio Azadi

    RFE/RL's Radio Azadi, one of the most popular and trusted media outlets in Afghanistan, is based in Kabul and supported by a nationwide network of local Dari- and Pashto-speaking journalists. Nearly half of the country's adult audience accesses Azadi's reporting on a weekly basis.