EU-Turkey Refugee Deal Still Horrific After a Year

Since refugees from Syria and Iraq started to reach European shores through Greece, the situation has been highly chaotic and refugees and asylum seekers have seen worst living conditions, and detentions across EU, as well in Turkey. Even after a year of horrific atrocities, refugees feel stranded, have nowhere to go, nor they have any legal protection across Turkey and on Greek islands.

Amnesty International’s Director for Europe, John Dalhuisen said, “Today marks a dark day in the history of refugee protection: one in which Europe’s leaders attempted to buy themselves out of their international obligations, heedless of the cost in human misery. A year ago, the Greek islands were transformed into de facto holding pens, as Europe’s shores went from being sites of the sanctuary into places of peril.” Even after a year, the situation remains the same.

21-year-old student from Syria, Noori still faces detention on Greek islands of Lesvos, with no access to healthcare, clean blankets or anything to read in his own language. His verdict of getting free depends on the EU-Turkey deal, which is now in jeopardy after Turkey started accusing Germany and Dutch of being Nazi. The fundamental clause of the deal, Turkish citizens getting visa-free access to Europe has not even got debated in the European parliament yet. Currently, there are over 2.6 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, but only over 3,500 Syrians have been relocated to EU nations. Greece has itself been slow in processing claims since last year, while Turkey has always been an unsafe country due to sectarian rifts and unsafe border crossings.

Amnesty International has reported several instances where the so-called voluntary return of refugees to Syria is nothing more of them returning in despair to war zones from where they left to for a better future.

References

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/03/eu-turkey-deal-a-shameful-stain-on-the-collective-conscience-of-europe/

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/03/the-eu-turkey-deal-europes-year-of-shame/

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-eu-visa-idUSKBN16I081

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