Some Iranians and Afghans have taken to social media to condemn authorities in the Iranian city of Shiraz for putting arrested, blindfolded Afghan refugees on display.
The criticism came after Iranian media, including the semi-official ISNA news agency, published a series of photographs of Afghans -- who had been detained on suspicion of illegally entering the country -- sitting behind barricade fences wearing white blindfolds.
A sign on one of the fences said: “Arrest of foreign nationals.”
“I’m ashamed of being an Iranian,” wrote a woman on Facebook in reaction to the photos.
On Twitter, an Afghan posted a picture of the arrested refugees alongside a sign for a street in Afghanistan that is named in honor of Iranian diplomats killed by the Taliban in 1998.
“It’s been [reported] that in the city where [Iran’s great poet] Saadi wrote: ‘If you have no sympathy for human pain, the name of human you cannot retain’, its people have displayed humans…in cages,” he wrote.
The move also prompted criticism from a former Iranian presidential spokesman, Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, who served as a spokesman for former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami.
On his Instagram account, Ramezanzadeh described the decision to put Afghans on display as “shameful.”
“I‘m ashamed for humanity. I’m ashamed for Afghans,“ Ramezanzadeh wrote.
Iran says it has hosted more than 3 million registered and unregistered Afghans for three decades with little help from the international community.
da "Radio Free Liberty"