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The Nagoya District Court on Thursday dismissed a suit by two Afghan men seeking revocation of a deportation order following the government’s refusal to grant them refugee status.

Mohammad Baqir and Mohammad Arif, both 30, said they fled to Japan to escape persecution under the former Taliban regime of Afghanistan.

But presiding Judge Yukio Kato said the pair cannot be recognized as refugees because persecution by the Afghan government against the country’s Hazara minority was not occurring when the deportation orders were issued.

The two illegally entered Japan in October 2001 and applied for refugees status the next month. The government refused and later ordered them deported.

They were detained for several months at the Nagoya Regional Immigration Bureau detention facility and later released temporarily.

Their lawyer, Yoshihiro Tejima, said he intends to appeal the decision, adding the pair will probably be placed in detention again.

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