18:13 GMT02 August 2021
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    Amnesty International stated that 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.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Turkey forcibly sent back more than two dozen refugees to Afghanistan just hours after signing a landmark deal with the European Union, Amnesty International said in a press release on Tuesday.

    "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.

    Turkish flag flies at the refugee camp for Syrian refugees in Islahiye, Gaziantep province, southeastern Turkey,Wednesday, March 16, 2016
    © AP Photo / Lefteris Pitarakis
    The Afghan refugees were denied the chance to apply for asylum in Turkey, according to Amnesty International. The rights group said it had seen photographs of at least one man’s travel papers, including a document issued by Turkish authorities that said he was being deported because of illegal entry into Turkey.

    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.


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