Advertisement

Turkey returning refugees to Syria, says Amnesty International

By Ed Adamczyk
Immigrants wait to cross the Greece-Macedonia border in northern Greece on September 8, 2015, on their way to Turkey. Amnesty international said Friday Syrian refugees are being returned to Syria from Turkey. Photo by Borce Popovski/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/4f37cca5d722c30806b998802ebc86f4/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Immigrants wait to cross the Greece-Macedonia border in northern Greece on September 8, 2015, on their way to Turkey. Amnesty international said Friday Syrian refugees are being returned to Syria from Turkey. Photo by Borce Popovski/UPI | License Photo

LONDON, April 1 (UPI) -- Turkey is deporting Syrian refugees at the rate of 100 per day, the advocacy group Amnesty International said Friday.

In a statement, the London-based human rights group said new research in southern Turkey's Hatay province indicates Syrian refugees are being expelled and sent back to conflict-ravaged Syria. Such forced returns are illegal under Turkish, Syrian and European Union law, it added.

Advertisement

The news comes before the enforcement of a deal between Turkey and the EU under which Syrian refugees who arrive on Greek islands will be taken to Turkey, regarded as a place of safety, for asylum. Recent Turkish actions, Amnesty International says, suggests that some of those who travel from Syria to Greece and then to Turkey will be returned to Syria.

"In their desperation to seal their borders, EU leaders have willfully ignored the simplest of facts," said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International's director for Europe and Central Asia. "Turkey is not a safe country for Syrian refugees and is getting less safe by the day. The large-scale returns of Syrian refugees we have documented highlight the fatal flaws in the EU-Turkey deal ... Far from pressuring Turkey to improve the protection it offers Syrian refugees, the EU is in fact incentivizing the opposite."

Advertisement

"It seems highly likely that Turkey has returned several thousand refugees to Syria in the last seven to nine weeks. If the agreement proceeds as planned, there is a very real risk that some of those the EU sends back to Turkey will suffer the same fate."

Amnesty International said it uncovered an incident in which three children were returned to Syria without their parents, and has documented cases of Syrian refugees sent back despite their official status as registered asylum-seekers.

RELATED NATO recommits to defending Turkey's border with Syria

RELATED Two convicted in drowning death of 3-year-old Syrian refugee

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement