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Activists To Campaign For Afghan Refugees In Iran

Afghans in many neighboring countries have been pressured to return home, regardless of the conditions they may face (epa) PRAGUE, November 13, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- A group of Afghan and Iranian activists has launched a campaign in support of Afghans living in Iran.

Borgan Divargar, a spokesman for the Iranian-based group, told Radio Farda today that the aim of the campaign is to prevent the deportation of Afghans and improve their living conditions.

"We want to create funds to help Afghans financially," he said. "A number of teachers have promised to give free tuition to Afghan children. They say they will help them financially and do whatever they can to prevent their deportation to Afghanistan because of the security situation there."

Iranian authorities recently launched an initiative to expel illegal Afghan workers, who they say are taking jobs away from Iranians.

They also have said they will step up efforts to encourage Afghans living legally in Iran to return to their home country.

There are almost 1 million registered Afghan refugees living in Iran. It is believed that at least another 1 million live there illegally.

RFE/RL Iran Report

RFE/RL Iran Report

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