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Difficult Ways of Reaching Turkey: How Fazlurabi Fell into the Hands of Desert Bandits

By Sayed Mahdi Hussaini

Bayan News – Fazlurabi, a 19-year-old resident of Logar province, whose lips have not yet properly darkened, intended to reach Turkey and take the route to Europe, but he did not achieve his goal.

Bayan News correspondent, who recently traveled to the Islam Qala border in western Afghanistan, bordering Iran, witnessed and documented in this report that Afghan youth, faced with an uncertain future and unemployment, have taken dangerous paths, and most of them return to Afghanistan disappointed and regretful, yet they still prefer this place to the challenges of displacement.

Fazlurabi tells Bayan News that just a few days ago, with payment of two thousand dollars to a smuggler, they set off for Turkey and embarked on a dangerous journey. Rabi continues to explain that they managed to enter Turkish territory and hide in an underground neighborhood after crossing the border, to determine which city in Turkey they would go to.

As soon as the smuggler’s payment was made, Rabi and fifteen others from various provinces of Afghanistan were identified and captured by bandits.

Rabi wishes that no Afghan youth would fall into the hands of bandits in these areas (border areas between Iran and Turkey). He lifts his shirt slightly and shows the marks of beatings. It was seen that Rabi and his companions were subjected to cruel torture, harassment, and abuse.

According to Rabi, the bandits wanted to receive money by recording a video and sending it to their families. However, Rabi and his companions resisted, and the Turkish police intervened until the bandits fled.

Rabi says that the Turkish police handed them over to the Iranian border police, and they were kept in Iranian camps for 15 days. During this time, the Iranian border police extorted money from their families as much as they could.

He expresses regret that he will never again pursue illegal migration routes and even if ten Afghans don’t follow, he will stay right here.

On the other hand, an unnamed source says that a significant number of migrants enter the country daily through the Islam Qala border.

According to this source, returnees are transferred to Herat center through international organizations (IOM, UNHCR), and with the payment of aid packages, they are moved to their respective provinces.

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