This story is supported by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives

October 30, 2023

Bureau Report


Imran Deen Hamiri is an Afghan migrant residing in Pakistan. He was associated with an NGO in Afghanistan, but after his arrest and torture at the hands of the Taliban, he along with his wife and children moved to Pakistan for their safety.

He is certain that if he and his family are deported back to Afghanistan, they will be executed.

He narrates his story to…

My name is Imam Deen Hamiri. I am from Kabul in Afghanistan. We came to Pakistan when the Taliban ended democracy in Afghanistan. We have registered with the UNHCR.

The problem is that I was working for citizen’s rights, and on women and girls’ right to education. We were not given the permission to broadcast our voice to the world, but we soldiered on.

20 days after the takeover, the Taliban took me away and tortured me. A group of elders managed to bail me out. I had to spend a day in the hospital for treatment.

After this incident, we decided to leave Afghanistan as our lives were in danger, and made our way to Pakistan. The Taliban say that they do not believe in the rights of man and of children. They say “What are they? Go back to those people who invented these things.”

They tell us not to demand rights for citizens, for people, and to only live how they want you to live.

I had a visa for Pakistan in the beginning of 2021 when my son fell ill, so we came to Pakistan for his treatment. He died, and because the border was closed at the time, I had to bury him here and went back to Afghanistan alone.

I obtained a visa because of him. There was still some time until it expired, so I came to Pakistan with my wife and children legally.

There are agents on either side of the border that get everything done if you have some money to spare. I gave some PKR 45,000 to get my wife and children to cross the border with me.

When my mother passed away, I was heartbroken. I could not even go to her funeral, because if I went back there would have been far more trouble. I had to bear it all in silence.

Your father and mother are yours, but it was not in my fate to be there for my mother’s funeral.

A free Afghanistan is one where there is education. Where people can give their children the opportunity for an education so they can build their future as a doctor or an engineer. If our women are not allowed to get an education, where will we get our doctors? It is a matter of great shame if my wife falls ill or has a problem, and I am forced to take her to a male doctor.

All of Afghanistan wants bright futures for the children. Some of them wanted to grow up to be doctors, some engineers. All of their dreams have been washed away.

I have received a voice-note full of curses and insults. They said that if I do not stop issuing statements and continue your human rights activities, they have people here who can end everything with a single bullet.

Sometimes I wonder about what would happen to me and to my children if I cross the border. All I know is that if we go back, we will be six feet under. There is no doubt about it. The Taliban do not accept us and we do not support them.


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