Thousands of Afghan refugees detained by UAE authorities
Between 2,400 to 2,700 Afghan nationals that sought asylum in the UAE within the past 15 months have been subjected to 'miserable conditions'
By News Desk - March 15 2023

(Photo Credit: Reuters)

According to a report published on 15 March by US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), thousands of Afghan refugees have been arbitrarily detained by authorities in the UAE.

According to the report, an estimated 2,400 to 2,700 Afghan nationals that sought asylum in the UAE within the past 15 months have been subjected to “miserable conditions” in the “Emirates Humanitarian City,” located in Abu Dhabi.

The humanitarian city supposedly assists millions of people from various countries that have faced challenges or been displaced due to political issues within the region and is currently under the umbrella of the Prime Minister of the UAE, Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum. However, the city has reportedly been housing the refugees under poor living conditions, which some have described as resembling a prison.

In a statement released by the HRW: “The UAE should urgently release those arbitrarily detained and provide access to fair and efficient processes for determining their status and protection needs.”

The influx of Afghan refugees to the UAE is accredited to the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021. 

During the summer of last year, hundreds of Afghan refugees who were evacuated from Afghanistan in 2021 staged demonstrations in protest of the delayed resettlement process.

Despite these reports, the UAE has asserted that it remains committed to the “safety, security, and dignity” of the refugees.

Emirati officials have acknowledged the impatience and frustration of the Afghans and have said that they are collaborating with the US embassy to finally launch the resettlement, which is “taking longer than expected,” media reported.

Estimates indicate that there are about 12,000 Afghan refugees residing in the Gulf country who remain stranded without guarantees of being resettled anytime soon.

More than 120,000 refugees were airlifted and scattered worldwide since the chaotic withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan last August. Out of these, 76,000 have reached the US.

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