Amnesty: Turkey deports 30 Afghan asylum seekers after EU deal

Turkish authorities deported 30 Afghan asylum seekers to Afghanistan, just after the European Union reached a deal with Turkey on stemming migration, Amnesty International said Wednesday, warning that the agreement places refugees at risk.

The rights group said the asylum-seekers - including women and children - feared attacks by the Taliban in Afghanistan, but were deported without receiving a fair hearing on their case.

"The ink wasn’t even dry on the EU-Turkey deal when several dozen Afghans were forced back to a country where their lives could be in danger," John Dalhuisen, a Europe researcher with Amnesty International.

The London-based group says it "received credible information" about the Afghans and believes Turkey violated European and international law when it deported the people early on Saturday morning. The deal was reached on Friday.

Amnesty said it spoke with some of the asylum-seekers, one of whom said: "If we go back, we will be killed by the Taliban."

According to the report, Turkish authorities confirmed that it sent back 27 Afghans, but that this was done "voluntarily."

Amnesty last year said people had been forcibly returned to Syria and Iraq.

"Returns to Turkey cannot proceed on the basis that Turkey is a safe country for refugees," Dalhuisen said, referring to the EU deal, which plans for people to be deported from Europe.

The EU-Turkey deal has sparked criticism from the UN and aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49
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