Afghan fears death if forced to go home

Nov. 15, 2011 at 12:10 AM
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CANBERRA, Australia, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Australia's government has ordered a failed Afghan asylum-seeker to return home even though he fears he will be killed there.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Ismail Mirza Jan, 26, who had only six days left in Australia, would be the first Afghan asylum-seeker sent home involuntarily under a deal the Afghan and Australian governments reached this year.

Jan has been held in maximum security at the Villawood Immigration Detention Center since his asylum claim was rejected.

Documents show Australia's Department of Immigration has ordered Jan be returned to Kabul.

"If I go there, I will be dead in my country. I have no one there to protect me," he said.

"I have no friends, no family there. So how can I live, relocate in Kabul?"

Jan fled Afghanistan in 2001 as a teenager three years after the Taliban killed his father, the Australian broadcaster reported. He failed in attempts to gain asylum in Britain and Ireland.

In February 2010, he arrived in Australia on a false Turkish passport, ABC said.

Afghanistan's Human Rights Commission says asylum-seekers' lives will be endangered if they are returned to the country.

"They are in [a dangerous] situation in their own country like Afghanistan," commission spokesman Mohammad Farid Hamidi said.

Hamidi said "security is getting worse day by day."

Australia, Afghanistan and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees signed a memorandum of understanding in January that Australia says allows for deportation.

"This agreement stipulates that the Afghan government will readmit its nationals who are not entitled to protection in Australia," Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said.

The Afghan government has refused to comment on Jan's case but said the agreement doesn't allow deportation of failed asylum-seekers from Australia.

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