Saturday, September 15, 2012

Syria’s neighbours must ensure stranded refugees are allowed access to safety

14 September 2012

"Countries neighbouring Syria must ensure that refugees who are stranded on their borders are allowed to find sanctuary, Amnesty International said.

The organisation wrote to the Turkish and Iraqi authorities calling on them to open all border crossings to refugees from Syria, after both nations continued to prevent access to safety for those fleeing the escalating violence by delaying entry to their territories.

Civilians have born the brunt of large-scale crimes against humanity, war crimes and other human rights abuses committed in Syria, and any obstacles or delays in allowing refugees to reach a place of safety would place them at risk of further serious human rights abuses in breach of international law," said Ann Harrison, Amnesty International’s Deputy Programme Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“Amnesty International calls upon countries neighbouring Syria to keep their borders open to those fleeing the conflict, and urges all countries in the region and elsewhere to ensure they do not force anyone to return.

“Amnesty International also calls on the international community to urgently and generously respond to calls for funding for relief efforts, directed at Syrian refugees in the region, in the spirit of solidarity and responsibility-sharing.”

More than a quarter of a million people who have fled from Syria since March 2011 have either been registered as refugees or are awaiting registration in neighbouring countries, namely Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon, with numbers growing daily, according to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR....."

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