Greece’s return of 10 Syrian refugees to Turkey, reportedly without considering their asylum claims, is a dangerous move that shows a callous disregard for their safety, Amnesty International said.
According to information received by Amnesty International, the group included six adults including two parents who were travelling with their four children aged between one and six. The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said their claims to asylum were not considered, which would make the returns illegal.
“If these refugees were sent to Turkey without due consideration of their asylum claim, this is undoubtedly a case of refoulement. This is a deplorable breach of Greece’s international obligations which has shown callous disregard for the group’s safety,” said Giorgos Kosmopoulos, Amnesty International’s researcher on migrant rights in Europe.
“Heads of state meeting in Brussels are clearly putting Greece under enormous pressure to speed up returns to Turkey, but legal obligations to allow refugees and asylum-seekers to have their asylum claims fully and individually considered cannot be ignored.”