Saturday, April 02, 2016

The hardest of hearts

 Amnesty's director for Europe and Central Asia, John Dalhuisen, said of the EU-Turkey migrant agreement, "It is a deal that can only be implemented with the hardest of hearts and a blithe disregard for international law" His organization described the deal as a "historic blow to human rights." In their desperation to seal their borders, EU leaders have wilfully ignored the simplest of facts," he added. "Turkey is not a safe country for Syrian refugees and is getting less safe by the day." He said, "having witnessed the creation of Fortress Europe, we are now seeing the copy-cat construction of Fortress Turkey." Under the terms of the arrangement is declared a "safe third country"

Amnesty International declared that it's an "open secret" in the region that Turkish authorities have been rounding up and expelling refugees to Syria on a "near-daily basis"—a practice the rights group vdenounced as both illegal and inhumane. The claims are based on multiple testimonies of large-scale forcible deportations from the southern Turkish province of Hatay.

"This is not a crisis caused by migrants," Global Justice Now press officer Kevin Smith wrote. "It is a crisis caused by war, poverty, and inequality. Rich countries, with the help of the highly profitable security industry, have tried their best to use cruel immigration controls, fences, walls, and even guns to force people to accept lives of violence and destitution. This is not the solution. No matter how high the walls of Fortress Europe become, the only way to solve this problem is to deal with its root causes."

According to reports from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Turkish security forces have shot dead refugees escaping from the Syrian conflict. They said those killed included children.

Meanwhile in the detention camps on the Greek islands which were once refugee camps, the increased tension has led to inter-group violence. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has called for better safeguards at refugee camps following protests and riots in the "chaotic" and unsanitary environment. "People are sleeping in the open, and food supply is insufficient. Anxiety and frustration is widespread," said the UNHCR. "Making matters worse, many families have become separated, with family members now scattered across Greece - and presenting an additional worry should returns begin."

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