Ambiguous status of Afghan religious minority refugees in the United Arab Emirates
According to the report of the Aryan community news agency, citing Mohabbate News, the “Washington Examiner” weekly newspaper reported that about 1,600 people from Afghan religious minorities, most of whom are Christians, are still living in limbo in the resettlement center of the United Arab Emirates.
Afghan refugees and migrants living in the United Arab Emirates have held new protests this week. Almost a year after they were forced to leave Afghanistan due to the Taliban gaining power, they say that their settlement process is slow and uncertain.
The Washington Examiner reported that about 1,600 Afghan religious minorities, mainly Christians, are in an uncertain and undecided situation in a resettlement center in the United Arab Emirates. The authors of this report have criticized the indifference of the staff of the US resettlement program to deal with at-risk minorities.
Sam Brownback, the former US ambassador for international religious freedom, and Lauren Homer, president of the Law and Liberty Trust (an organization that supports religious liberties) wrote in the report that they have received repeated requests from charitable organizations to support religious liberties for humanitarian visas for religious minorities in Afghanistan has not been given any attention.
The report adds that on the other hand, the rumor of the closure of the humanitarian center of the United Arab Emirates by the end of August will frighten the religious minorities, but according to the American officials, no one will be forced to return to Afghanistan. Meanwhile, some immigrants in the UAE voluntarily returned to Afghanistan after months of waiting.
Christian refugees are said to have left Afghanistan at the cost of tens of millions of dollars raised by religious freedom NGOs.
Sam Brownback and Lauren Homer, two religious freedom activists, say that these people were checked by non-governmental organizations and the United States government before leaving Afghanistan.
The report states that 500 other religious minorities are currently living in fear in Afghanistan, and 200 Christian citizens are also at risk due to the Taliban’s special orders to persecute and punish religious minorities.
The Reuters news agency also published pictures of Afghan children, women and men protesting in a camp in Abu Dhabi and in the hot summer weather of this city and wrote: “These protesters, holding placards, have asked the UAE authorities to determine their residency status after a year of uncertainty.” “
“We have been detained here for almost a year and the camp is like a modern prison,” one Afghan protester told Reuters on condition of anonymity. He says that no one has been allowed to leave and they don’t know when they will be resettled in which country.
An Emirati official also admitted in a written statement that the situation is disappointing and the resettlement process has taken longer than what the UAE wanted.
With the effectiveness of the Taliban Islamic State in Afghanistan, the situation of religious minorities has worsened, and religious minorities do not enjoy the security of life and basic citizenship rights.