Turkey illegally returning Syrian refugees: Amnesty
02 April 2016, Nirapad News: Turkey has illegally forced thousands of refugees to return to Syria, a report by Amnesty International says.
The group says about 100 Syrians have been sent back to their war-torn country every day since mid-January in breach of international law.
Amnesty says its report exposes the flaws in a recent deal between the EU and Turkey aimed at stemming the flow of refugees arriving in Greece, reports the BBC.
Turkey has denied sending back any refugees against their will.
The Amnesty report comes just days before Turkey is expected to receive the first migrants returned from Greece under the deal with the EU.
The group says its research in southern Turkey suggested that authorities had been rounding up and expelling groups of about 100 Syrian men, women and children almost daily since the middle of January.
Under the ‘non-refoulement’ principle of international humanitarian law, a state is prohibited from deporting individuals to a war zone.
Amnesty said one case involved three young children forced back into Syria without their parents, while another saw the forced return of an eight-months’ pregnant woman.
It said many of those returned appeared to be unregistered refugees but it had also documented cases of registered Syrian refugees being sent back while not carrying their papers.
‘The inhumanity and scale of the returns is truly shocking; Turkey should stop them immediately,’ said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty’s director for Europe and Central Asia.