What Are You Doing Here? Police Abuses Against Afghans in Pakistan

Extract from the report: Pakistan has hosted several million Afghan refugees since the late 1970s, but hostility toward its Afghan population increased dramatically after the so-called Pakistani Taliban attacked a school in Peshawar in December 2014, killing more than 100 children. At a time when thousands of Afghans are fleeing insecurity in their country to seek refuge in Europe, pressure and abuse by Pakistani police has driven many Afghans living in Pakistan to return to Afghanistan.  “What Are You Doing Here?” describes how Pakistani police have carried out raids on Afghan settlements, arbitrarily detained, harassed, and beaten Afghan men, extorted bribes, and threatened Afghans with deportation. Those abuses have since January 2015 driven large numbers of Afghans living in Pakistan to return to Afghanistan, where they face worsening instability and a widening civil conflict. Every Afghan interviewed by Human Rights Watch who had returned to Afghanistan said that fear of the Pakistani police was the reason they had done so.  This report is based on interviews with 96 Afghans either living in Pakistan or recently returned to Afghanistan. It urges the Pakistani government to extend residency cards for registered Afghans, which are due to expire on December 31, 2015, until at least the end of2017. It also calls on Pakistan to stop security force intimidation and violence against Afghans living in Pakistan.
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