‘Turkey-European Union anti-refugee deal is illegal’

This video, by Irish independent TD (MP) Clare Daly, says about itself:

European Council Statements – the EU/Turkey refugee deal

24 March 2016

A dark day for the refugee Convention, as the EU cuts a deal to start mass expulsions of refugees from its shores, in contravention of international law.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

“Turkey violates nearly all international conventions’

Today, 09:01

Just go play in the park with our little nephew and two nieces. That is what the two Syrian refugee brothers living together with 24 family members in an apartment in the Turkish city of Antakya had thought. Policemen arrested them and they were taken to the police station; they supposedly did not have the right papers. A few hours later the five were in a bus with other refugees. Back to Syria. Back to the war.

It is one of the testimonies gathered by Amnesty International. The study shows that Turkey since mid-January has returned several thousand Syrian refugees illegally to Syria. Amnesty International believes that the deal that the EU recently signed with Turkey should be abandoned.

Turkey violates many international rules, says aliens and asylum lawyer Flip Schüller. “Yes, it is obvious that Turkey is thus violating all international rules. This concerns not only Syrians, but also Afghans. Last week hundreds of them were just put on the plane.”

According to Schüller the refoulements show that Turkey is not a safe haven anymore. “If this is the basis of the deal between the EU and Turkey, the deal is untenable.”

He calls on the [Dutch] government about its responsibility, especially since the Netherlands as President of the EU has had a major role in the realization of the agreements. “Prime Minister Rutte must say clearly: as long as there is no clarity, asylum seekers can not be deported to Turkey.”

Schüller fears a flood of lawsuits, as refugees are brought to Turkey and then to Syria or Afghanistan. “If it does, then the EU actually itself violates the international prohibition to send people back to a war situation.” That prohibition is part of the European Convention on Human Rights. “I do not believe that Europe wants to have that on its conscience.”

The rumors about refoulement were older. “In December, Amnesty had already researched this, and then there were already signs that this happened,” says correspondent Lucas Waagmeester. “Also asylum lawyers complained that they could get no longer any contact with their clients.”

It is difficult to understand why Turkey does so, says Waagmeester. “Turkey has always said: we don’t leave these people to their fate, we help. That generous attitude towards refugees was for a long time a pillar of the policy. Turkey did more than any other country in the region. But this policy seems to be over since a few months ago.”

According to Waagmeester this is probably due to the policy of the EU: Turkey should not allow more refugees to go to Europe. “It seems that the Turks are going to take draconian measures to meet the needs of Europe.”

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