12:17 GMT03 March 2021
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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)
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    A group of Syrian migrants returned to Turkey, under an action plan hammered out with the European Union this spring, have been detained for nearly three weeks without access to lawyers, British media reported Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Ankara-Brussels migrants-for-refugees deal came into force on April 4 despite rights groups’ criticism of what they deem to be an unfair agreement and Turkey an unsafe country for the migrants’ return.

    "They won’t allow us to leave… If they told us you must stay here for one month or two months, that would be OK – but we just don’t know," an inmate who asked to be known by the pseudonym of Lara told The Guardian.

    Lara, one of 12 Syrians returned by plane on April 27 and held in a remote detention center in southern Turkey’s Duzici, said she and her family cancelled their asylum claims in Greece "to come back to our homes, not to this prison here."

    The publication cites the group as saying the fate of two other Syrians deported with hundreds of non-Syrians earlier in April remains unknown.

    A Turkish government spokesman told the newspaper the 12 Syrians would be released next week "once their background checks are completed."

    Another Syrian refugee held in Duzici since February argued that Turkey is "just pressuring us to go back to Syria and die there."

    Compounding the mounting criticism, the Human Rights Watch alleged this week that Turkish border guards had shot and beaten Syrian asylum seekers in March and April.

    Turkey, which hosts 2.7 million Syrian refugees, denied all reports of violence against refugees and said it declares an open-door policy toward migrants.

    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)


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    human rights, detention, Syria, Turkey
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