Amnesty International urges governments to halt the deportation of refugees from Syria. The organization said in a report that abuses by Syrian service officials against 66 returned refugees, including 13 children, had been documented. The Syrian government denies reports of torture against refugees.
Refugees from Syria who have been returned home are kidnapped, imprisoned and tortured by the security forces of the Bashar al-Assad regime, Amnesty International said on Tuesday, appealing to governments to halt deportations.
The report was released as more and more Western European countries intend to return refugees. AI’s appeal concerns in particular Denmark, where, under a law passed in June, asylum applications in that country are processed outside the EU, for example in Rwanda.
The AI report “You’re going to your death” documented abuses by Syrian intelligence officers against 66 returned refugees, including 13 children. Five deaths in custody were also reported. “Anyone who assumes that Syria is safe today consciously ignores the nightmarish reality on the ground and leaves refugees in a situation where they fear for their lives again,” it wrote.
The Syrian government denies the torture of refugees
The Syrian government has denied reports of torture against refugees. President Assad noted that millions of Syrian refugees were forced to stay in other countries through “pressure and intimidation” and financial traps.
The civil war in Syria has been going on since March 2011. Several hundred thousand people died, millions were forced to emigrate. Assad now controls 70 percent of his country’s territory. In May, he won the presidential election for the fourth time, which, in international opinion, had been rigged.
Main photo source: SANA / PAP / EPA