STOP THE INHUMAN TREATMENT OF SYRIAN MIGRANTS!
In last few days, there have been many news reports with numerous images and testimonies which documents that especially in the neighbourhoods where migrants live intensively, after ID controls, Syrian migrants were deported by getting on buses and some were forced to sign papers which tells that they are leaving the country voluntarily by ending their temporary protection status. Particularly in many of the images that can be accessed through social media, maltreatment of people whose hands tied with plastic handcuffs is also evident.
As it is known, people who fled the conflict in Syria to seek refuge in Turkey were given temporary protection status which doesn’t guarantee permanent access to the basic human rights. With the practices we have witnessed in recent days, it is understood that Government even fell behind what is provided with this status, a hunt for Syrians has started and the people whose registered city is not Istanbul or whose identity card is not with them are filled in buses to be deported to Syria where the conflicts still continue. In the videos, which can be found in social media, it is clearly seen that Syrians are subjected to insults and violence by sitting on the ground in the police bus while their hands were tied. This unlawful deportation attempts without being allowed to pack up and even say goodbye to those left behind is incompatible with basic human rights rules and are in violation of international law. This treatment of migrants coming from war zones is clearly inhumane.
Since Turkey has put reservations to the protocol on the abolition of geographical restrictions regarding the Geneva Convention, Turkey does not give anyone refugee status except those who come from Europe, because of that, millions of people who should have refugee status doomed to lack of a status/insecurity. Now what we are experiencing is, elimination of the last legal sanctuary of these people which is non-refulman right.
Recently, the Istanbul Governorship has given time to Syrian asylum seekers who are not registered in Istanbul to leave the city until August 20, 2019. Such an attitude towards the Syrians who leave the city where they are registered for economic and family reasons is not only a clear violation of freedom of travel but also inhumane. Moreover, what has happened so far shows that this is likely to result in not only the Syrians leaving the city, but their forced deportation.
The Government of Turkey must put an end to practices that violate the most basic human rights conventions and international law. At least the right of non- refoulment should be guaranteed to immigrants who have been ill-treated and forcibly signed a return document in police stations.
Refugee status which is a more permanent and more secure status should be given to Syrian refugees in Turkey in line with international law, instead of temporary protection status which allows governments to treat them as they wish.
On the other hand, the silence of the international community is also embarrassing. European Union countries are becoming partners in this crime against humanity by maintaining the readmission agreement with Turkey to keep immigrants out of their borders. Turkey has lost its status as a safe country for Syrian refugees as it is. Moreover it is a sign of hypocrisy for European States to escape from obligations by not allowing immigrants to enter in their borders and condemn these immigrants to the poor conditions in Turkey.
Western states must bear the consequences of the destruction they create.
We, as the Contemporary Lawyers Association, declare that we are with Syrian refugees who have been subjected to this inhuman treatment.
Cancel the EU-Turkey readmission agreement.
Inhuman treatments against Syrian migrants and forced migration which endangers their lives must be stopped !
Contemporary Lawyers Association Headquarters