A new Amnesty International report charges Turkey with abusing refugees before deporting them back to Syria. This comes on the heels of a multi-billion dollar aid deal with the EU.
The government of Turkey is apprehending refugees and pressuring them to return to conflict zones, claimed an Amnesty International report released on Tuesday. The paper, titled "Europe's Gatekeeper," also alleges that Turkey regularly brings asylum seekers to remote detention centers, where they receive appalling treatment before being deported to Iraq and Syria.
Amnesty criticizes that European Union funds seem to be, at least in part, funding the construction of the "isolated detention centers where [refugees] have been held incommunicado."
"It is shocking that EU money is being used to fund an unlawful detention and return programme. The EU must ensure that its funding and migration cooperation with Turkey promotes rather than undermines the rights of refugees and migrants," the report reads.
Turkish official slams report
Amnesty claimed it had documented over 100 refugees who had been forced to move to remote accommodations, before suffering abuse at the hands of Turkish security forces and then being sent back to the active "warzones" from which they had fled. The rights organization says it believes the number of affected individuals is likely much higher.
A member of the Turkish government slammed the report, saying saying less that one percent of Syrians faced any kind of heightened restrictions.
About 2.2 million Syrian refugees have been accepted by Turkey since their country's civil war broke out in 2011 - more than any other outside nation, even considering the great number who have moved on to Europe.
In light of the migration crisis, Brussels and Ankara inked a deal last month in which Turkey would receive 3.2 billion dollars in aid if they can control the flow of asylum seekers into the EU.
es/gsw (dpa, KNA)