Original Source: Human Rights Watch/ Turkey: Border Guards Kill and Injure Asylum Seekers © 2016 by Human Rights Watch.
Citing witnesses, HRW mentioned six incidents of abuse which reportedly took place near the Khurbat al Juz-Güveççi border crossing, around 50km (30 miles) south of the Turkish city of Antakya. HRW has published a video of witness accounts online.
For HRW Turkish border guards are shooting and beating Syrian asylum seekers trying to reach Turkey, resulting in deaths and serious injuries, Human Rights Watch said today. The Turkish authorities should stop pushing Syrian asylum seekers back at the border and should investigate all use of excessive force by border guards.
Français:Des gardes-frontières turcs ont abattu plusieurs réfugiés syriens fuyant la guerre pendant les mois de mars et avril 2016, affirme Human Rights Watch. Au total d’après l’ONG, cinq personnes ont été tuées, huit blessées par balles – dont trois enfants – et six autres personnes ont été "sérieusement agressées" par les forces de sécurité turques. Des allégations qui contrastent fortement avec le discours officiel de bienvenue des autorités turques.
Ankara says it keeps an “open door” policy toward Syrian refugees, but rights group says it beats and shoots them https://t.co/6ffm4Aq4F9
— Akin Aytekin (@aytekin_akin) 10 mai 2016
“While senior Turkish officials claim they are welcoming Syrian refugees with open borders and open arms, their border guards are killing and beating them,” said Gerry Simpson, senior refugee researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Firing at traumatized men, women, and children fleeing fighting and indiscriminate warfare is truly appalling.”
— Al-Masdar News (@TheArabSource) 10 mai 2016
Since at least mid-August 2015, Turkish border guards have pushed back Syrians trying to reach Turkey. In April 2016, Human Rights Watch reported that Turkish border guards enforcing Turkey’s one-year-old border closure had shot at Syrians escaping advances by the extremist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS), northeast of Aleppo. Human Rights Watch also revealed how Turkish border guards blocked thousands of fleeing displaced persons after their camps near the border had been hit by artillery fire on April 13 and 15.
Turkey is entitled to secure its border with Syria, but is obliged to respect the principle of non-refoulement, which prohibits rejecting asylum seekers at borders when that would expose them to the threat of persecution, torture, and threats to life and freedom. Turkey is also obliged to respect international norms on use of lethal force as well as the rights to life and bodily integrity, including the absolute prohibition on subjecting anyone to inhuman and degrading treatment.
— Stephanie K. Gee (@stephaniekgee) 10 mai 2016
The violence against Syrian refugees, and Turkey’s refusal to allow them to cross the border, comes as the European Union has shut its own borders to asylum seekers. In March, the EU concluded a controversial migration deal with Ankara to curb refugee and migration flows to Europe, committing €6 billion in aid to assist Syrians in Turkey, reinvigorating Turkey’s EU membership negotiations, and offering the prospect of visa-free travel for Turkish citizens. The deal provides for Europe to return migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees, including Syrians, who reach Greece by boat, on the grounds that Turkey is a safe country for them. The deal also commits the EU to work with Turkey to create areas inside Syria that will be “more safe.”
“The EU shouldn’t just stand by and watch as Turkey uses live ammunition and rifle butts to stem the refugee flow,” said Simpson. “EU officials should recognize that their red light for refugees to enter the EU gives Turkey a green light to close its border, exacting a heavy price on war-ravaged asylum seekers with nowhere else to go.”
Turkish border guard violence against Syrian refugees
In mid-April 2016, Human Rights Watch interviewed four victims, five witnesses, and six local Syrian residents who described seven occasions in March and April in which Turkish border guards shot or assaulted 17 Syrian asylum seekers and two smugglers. During the incidents, Turkish border guards killed five people (shot to death three asylum seekers and a smuggler and beat to death one smuggler); shot and injured eight asylum seekers, including three young children; and severely assaulted six asylum seekers.
Six of the incidents occurred near the Khurbat al-Juz-Güveççi border crossing, near the Turkish town of Antakya, and one near the Syrian border town of al-Duriya.
Human Rights Watch also interviewed six Syrians from Khurbat al-Juz who helped some of the survivors and retrieved the bodies of those killed, in some cases coming under fire by Turkish border guards as they approached the bodies. One of the men, a security guard working in one of the local displaced persons camps, filmed a number of the victims and bodies.
C’est la première fois que de telles accusations sont portées par une organisation de défense des droits de l’Homme. Selon Human Rights Watch (HRW), des gardes-frontières turcs ont abattu plusieurs réfugiés syriens fuyant la guerre pendant les mois de mars et avril 2016. Au total d’après l’ONG, cinq personnes ont été tuées, huit blessées par balles – dont trois enfants – et six autres personnes ont été “sérieusement agressées” par les forces de sécurité turques. Des allégations qui contrastent fortement avec le discours officiel de bienvenue des autorités turques.
HRW, qui a interrogé pour les besoins de son enquête plusieurs victimes et témoins d’attaques, a recensé sept “incidents” au cours desquels “des gardes-frontières turcs ont tiré ou attaqué 17 demandeurs d’asile syriens et deux passeurs”. Six de ces incidents ont eu lieu près du point de passage Khurbat al Juz-Güveççi, à quelques kilomètres de la ville turque d’Antakya.