Up to 600 Syrian refugees have reportedly been forced back to Syria by the Turkish authorities in a move that would – if confirmed – show a shocking disregard for their safety, Amnesty International has said.
Reports state that those forcibly returned had been accommodated in the Akcakale refugee camp in the Sanliurfa province that borders Syria. Others run the risk of the same treatment.
The deportations allegedly occurred following violent protests at the camp.
Amnesty International's Turkey researcher Andrew Gardner said: "Any forcible return of Syrian refugees would represent a deplorable act in clear violation of international law and Turkey’s own laws.
“The Turkish authorities need to ensure that from now on no forcible returns occur and they must effectively investigate forced returns that are alleged to have taken place. In no circumstances whatsoever should the authorities forcibly return Syrians putting them at risk of persecution and serious human rights violations."