"Turkey’s forcible return of around 30 Afghan asylum seekers just hours after the European Union (EU)-Turkey refugee deal came into force shows that implementing the deal would risk refugees’ lives from the word go," the release stated.
Around 30 Afghan men, women and children were apprehended by the Turkish Coast Guard and detained for five days before being deported to Kabul on March 19, just hours after Turkey agreed to a refugee deal with the European Union.
Under the terms of that agreement, Turkey is set to receive up to 6 billion euros in financial support from the European Union in exchange for halting the flow of refugees seeking to reach Europe.
International law forbids the forcible repatriation of refugees and asylum-seekers to countries where they face a well-founded fear of persecution. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has said it is not a party to the EU-Turkey agreement and will not be involved in forced deportations.